A Ripley schoolgirl has been honoured by Amber Valley Rotary after donating a significant sum of her own money to the club’s Christmas appeal.
Nine-year-old Skye Gillespie was presented with a Young Citizen certificate and a message of gratitude from area president Christopher Riggott in a specially arranged assembly at Ripley Junior School on Thursday, January 12.
The rewards came after Skye contributed £55 to Rotary’s Santa Sleigh—which toured across Ripley in the weeks before Christmas—an amount which organisers say is unprecedented.
Rotary spokesman Ian Holliday said: “We’re used to collecting small amounts on the Santa rounds—which all add up—but nothing like this.
“From someone so young, this level of generosity is quite remarkable.”
The donation nearly never made it to the Rotary coffers, after Skye missed the sleigh as it passed near her house.
Ian said: “Her mum sent us a message and explained how upset Skye was—she had been saving up all year ready for us.
“We arranged for them to travel across town to meet Santa on another of his stops. Skye presented us with a lovely box and card. We were staggered by how heavy it was.”
It later emerged that Skye had once been on a Rotary holiday to Great Yarmouth, and was keen to ensure other youngsters got to enjoy similar opportunities.
Her donation was part of £17,363 collected by the club in the run up to Christmas from its garden centre grottos and supermarket buckets.
It will be used throughout 2017 to support Rotary initiatives at every level from the local to the international.
Skye’s class teacher Jen Clarke said: “She is very caring, empathetic, and an absolute asset to the school—but she’s very low key about it. It’s really touching to see.”
For the latest Rotary fundraising news, visit www.fb.me/RAV1220.