Teens show true colours

Penola High School students recently got colourful for a cause when they held a colour run to raise money for teacher Sam Matthews’ family as he battles cancer.

Mr Matthews lives in Rendelsham with his wife and two young children and was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer last year.

He has a very rare and aggressive form of metastatic peritoneal cancer which is difficult to treat with a very poor prognosis.

Mr Matthews was a science-maths teacher at Penola High School and Principal Lesley Okholm said students were shocked when they heard the news.

A group of students came up with the idea for a colour run and Ms Okholm said the Penola High School SRC organised practically the whole afternoon.

The colour run track had hay bales as obstacles, tyres to climb through, commando nets, water bombs and a slip and slide.

Ms Okholm said it was a beautiful day and more than 100 students and staff participated, with everyone getting soaked and covered in colour.

“It was awesome, the sun seemed to come out at just the right time and it was just an amazing afternoon,” she said.

Mr Matthews and his family also participated in the event and Ms Okholm said the students loved that he could be there.

“He’s decided that it’s about creating memories with his kids so we hope we contributed to that in some way,” Ms Okholm said.

“We saw that as an amazing memory they will have, we put together a video of that for them as well, so it’s a really happy, joyous thing they could be a part of.”

The SRC also put on a barbecue lunch, hot dogs, drinks, snacks and lollies to raise extra money and funds raised from food and soft drink sales at Athletics Day also went towards the cause.

A total of $1684 was raised and Ms Okholm said the family had received an enormous amount of support.

A GoFundMe organised by Toni Duka has raised close to $29,000 for the family.

Visit gofund.me/323fa756 to donate.

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