Firewood for football team fundraiser stolen from Auckland school's grounds

By Catherine Gaffaney

Kelston Girls' College First XI football players Marie Poleka, 16, (left) and Blessing Tioa, 15, are gutted about $300 of firewood they'd hope to sell for a fundraiser was stolen. Photo / supplied
Kelston Girls' College First XI football players Marie Poleka, 16, (left) and Blessing Tioa, 15, are gutted about $300 of firewood they'd hope to sell for a fundraiser was stolen. Photo / supplied

An Auckland high school football team say they're gutted firewood they had hoped to sell to pay for tournament fees has been stolen from their school's grounds.

Kelston Girls' College First XI spent hours after school last week arranging the firewood that staff members had chopped up from two trees which were cut down on the school grounds.

The firewood, which was taken on Monday or Tuesday, was in a pile under branches behind a shed in the staff carpark. It was not visible from the road.

Kelston Girls' sports co-ordinator Sam Baker believed the firewood would have filled two trailers and could have sold for about $300.

It was the girls' idea to sell the wood to help pay fees for the New Zealand Secondary School Girls Kathy Seaward Football Tournament at Western Springs this week.

"We're all absolutely disheartened," Baker said. "The school has paid for the tournament fees for now but it was up to the girls to pay them back.

"We're a Decile 2 school. We're not sure how we're going to cover the shortfall."

The school was very proud of the girls' initiative and hard work preparing the firewood, he said.

"One of the girls came up with this idea and then they all got on board with it. They're all very committed to training twice a week and they put a lot of work into preparing the firewood.

"They were here for a couple of hours three or four days after school last week getting it sorted.

"They'd hoped the money would help pay for tournament fees and they were also hoping to get hoodies, but I don't think that will happen now.

"We're all gutted."

Baker believed the firewood would have been taken by someone who knew about the fundraiser.

"We purposefully kept it out of sight. Someone, or a couple of people because there was a lot of it, must have come on to the school grounds with a large trailer in the evening when there was no one around."

A police spokeswoman confirmed the matter had been referred to police.

Anyone with information about the stolen firewood is asked to call Henderson Police on 09 839 0600

- NZ Herald

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