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A phone call to Penny Finn from Diana Beamish, then Jean Paul, a trainee nurse six thousand miles away, in Johannesburg, thanked Penny and her team as they prepared a fund raising lunch to help pay his fees. Jean Paul is a refugee from Rwanda, helped by Diana Beamish and the Mercy House staff.
Penny and Mick, with their family and friends, laid on a special "ploughman's" lunch - backed up by gifts for the tombola and raffle. The weather was perfect - the setting their beautiful garden in Laburnum Grove.
Judy McGregor, Mora and colleagues were delighted at the generous contributions - food, tombola, raffle and articles for sale.
The target was set at a modest £300 - enough to pay Jean Paul's travel expenses and uniform costs - but the donors were outstandingly generous, contributing no less than £1,455.42 - this will pay not only his expenses, but a whole year's fees - amounting to £1000. The food and drink was also donated.
Penny emailed the exciting news to Diana who replied immediately:
Fri 10 Aug
Dear Penny and Mick, John and Judy
Thanks for the stunning email! I was totally dumb-founded! Your achievement is simply amazing - WAY BEYOND ANYTHING I EXPECTED and I am sure that is true of you too. Also tremendous that you had such good weather.
I have not yet told Jean Paul your wonderful news: he is going to be absolutely thrilled. On his behalf and ours, I would like to say a big 'thank you', but I am sure he will also thank you later. It is a huge help to him and to us, and if there is any spare, it will go towards helping Riccardo, another of our orphan victims of the genocide. (He is Jimmy's cousin and both of them, when they were around 5 years old, saw their whole families beheaded in front of their very eyes.) Riccardo's dad was a doctor and Riccardo wants to start at the Technical College in September with Electrical Engineering. Very often the tranport to the colleges costs more than the fees, as in SA transport is hugely expensive, fuel coming from overseas and our currency being so weak.
So your money will all go towards these intentions, Jean Paul being the primary one and you will proudly be able to say that you have got him on the road to being a nurse. THANKS A MILLION to you all and all who supported you.
Thanks echoed by Penny!