Charity ball makes $120K school bus dream come true: Video

A STAGGERING show of community spirit has seen Rosella Park School collect $120,000 to purchase a modified bus to transport its students.

The school, which provides a specialised curriculum for students with moderate to severe intellectual impairments, has been sorely in need of a bus capable of meeting students' accessibility requirements.

The money came out of last night's Variety Gala Ball, and other fundraising efforts and grants.

"We had $50,000 from grants and $20,000 the school has raised through the P&C, because it costs $50,000 alone to modify the bus for wheelchairs," said Craig Marriott, Variety Queensland operations manager.

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"We needed to find another $50,000 to make it happen, so we raised $30,000 out of the Variety ball and Variety Queensland's tipping in another $20,000."

Mr Marriott said Variety would work with the school to get the bus on the road as soon as possible.

He said he was blown away by community support shown towards the school and its students.

 

Gladstone Variety Gala Ball: The 2016 ball raised much-needed funds for a new bus for Rosella Park School. Students from the school performed on the big night.

 

"It's unbelievable ... events like this are what fills our cup back up and reminds us why we're here and why we do it.

"It's tough work but when you get to see the kids from Rosella perform, that's why we're here."

The students' performance was a clear highlight on the night, with their musical number met by a standing ovation.

Most of the money raised during the event was from auctions and raffles.

A silent auction, live auction and raffle took place throughout the night, with the live auction alone netting $20,000.

"We did go into the event a little bit ahead because of those grants and the money the school raised, but because of the generosity and hard work of the school community, we got to meet our goal," Mr Marriott said.

Speaking on the night, Rosella Park School principal Kate Russ described having to spend hundreds of dollars on a number of wheelchair- friendly taxis any time an outing was planned for the students.

Ms Russ was overwhelmed by the public's support of the school and its students, on the night and in previous fundraising efforts.