Resilience is the word used to describe this year's Mudgee High School Year 12 students, having powered through an unconventional year marked by a worldwide pandemic and forced remote learning at home.
On Thursday morning the students - as per tradition - set up a series of road stops around Mudgee to hopefully coax passing drivers during their morning commute to drop some money in a bucket which goes towards the fundraising total for the year.
On Thursday afternoon it was confirmed that the students had banked $11,008.75 in fundraising from this morning's efforts.
This year's beneficiary is drought relief, with the students undecided about which charity the money will go to. That will be decided once the funds have been collected and counted.
Adrian Couch, the Year 12 year advisor said it was great to see the community out there supporting the students.
"It's [fundraising] been a bit slower than other years obviously, we've had less opportunity to do these events," he said.
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"But I guess what the whole fundraising this is about is getting the kids to realise they've got a be part of the community and do things, so money-wise we're probably a bit low but the idea of building community spirit is probably pretty high.
"With the pandemic people see how important it is to have that community and stuff around them, today there are lots of people out here supporting us in what's probably a pretty hard time for most people.
"So yeah I think spirit-wise I think we will be up there with the best of them."
Claire Windeyer, head teacher of HSIE at Mudgee High School said the students have faced up to the challenges that 2020 has presented.
"As a teacher, watching these guys get through what's always a difficult year - it's always hard for year 12s because they're doing the most challenging course," she said.
"But their resilience, their ingenuity and their willingness to work with the rapid changes that have happened this year has been outstanding to see.
"They've risen to the challenges, and particularly that resilience, they've had significant resilience. They've risen to the challenge. All of those virtues and traits have been assets to them throughout the year.
"They've met the challenge and they've gone 'righto, we'll get through this because we've got a good team around us, we've got great teaching staff, we've got the technology that supported that platform of remote learning and they met us, they met us halfway and they gave it their best.
"I just think this group has demonstrated extensive resilience and I think that's the word that goes with this HSC 2020 group.
"They've met it, they're awesome, they've done really well."
The total fundraising amount is yet to be determined.
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