‘An Evening of Celebration’ for St Patrick’s Academy Dungannon
By Eleanor McGillie
THE management of a Co Tyrone school are putting plans in place to future proof its new £27million school by hosting a gala fundraising night which will help maintain standards and heritage.
St Patrick’s Academy in Dungannon will see its state-of-the-art school officially open early next year, and, in order to allow the school further room for growth, the management team want to celebrate the school’s achievements to date while protecting the school’s rich provision for the future.
The Board of Governors and teaching staff will be doing this by organising a black tie gala night which will take place in the Armagh City Hotel on February 3 during which the school will launch St Patrick’s Academy Alumni Association (AAA).
Titled ‘An Evening of Celebration’ the event is an opportunity for past pupils, corporates and gold sponsors to network, connect and focus on raising much needed funds to invest in resources to ensure the ethos of the school, ‘Achieving Excellence Together’, is maintained.
Academy Principal, Mr Fintan Donnelly, said the school is currently planning the event and is appealing for people, past and present, who have a connection to the school, to join in for ‘An Evening of Celebration’.
Speaking at the launch of the gala fundraiser Mr Donnelly spoke about the landmark year ahead. He said: “For the past 126 years the Academy has played a pivotal role in the educational, cultural and religious life of generations of families in Dungannon and the surrounding areas.
“The new school represents an investment in the future of our young people but it is just as much about the endorsement of the vision set out in 1891 by those who founded the Academy.
“The new school facility has been built at a cost of £27M. But, with annual running costs no longer being covered by the government grant, it is hoped ‘An Evening of Celebration’ can play a vital role in kick-starting fundraising activities which can offset those running costs.
“The fundraising evening is a very important night for maintaining standards and protecting heritage. And of course key to that will be the official launch of St Patrick’s Academy Alumni Association which will take place during the evening.
“This alumni is designed to bring together those who have passed through the school to remain in contact and to provide a support network for current pupils. It will also be key to ensuring the school’s provision is not negatively impacted in the current climate of budgetary cuts.
“Those of us who are charged with maintaining the standards and the heritage of the Academy are determined that budgetary cutbacks are not allowed to diminish, in any way, the rich and varied curricular and extra-curricular provision that the school is so rightly proud of.”
Mr Donnelly said past pupils know the worth of an Academy education and said the school’s future will be an exciting one with past pupils helping current pupils to flourish.
He added: “Our Evening of Celebration will be hosted by two of our own past pupils – Malachi Cush and Lynette Faye. It will be a night where past pupils, working across a variety of sectors, here and around the globe, will be able to network and fundraise.
“All proceeds from this evening will go towards the running costs of the school and will ensure the school’s management team, teaching staff and pupils can continue to focus on achieving excellence together.
This is a ticketed only event. To secure a table or book individual tickets contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The school is also welcoming expressions of interest from past pupils who have an interest in joining St Patrick’s Academy Alumni Association.
Notes To Editor:
- St Patrick’s Academy was established in 1891 and is a voluntary grammar school based in Dungannon, Co Tyrone. The new £27million school will be opened in February 2018 after An Evening of Celebration and the launch of the Academy Alumni Association (AAA).
- For further information contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd on 028 3756 9569 | 07709805379 | mgmpr.co.uk | PR | Public Relations Northern Ireland | Public Relations UK | Brand Journalism Northern Ireland | Brand Journalism UK | Brand Journalism Experts