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Lara's Foundation November update

Lara's Foundation, 29 October 2012

On Friday 26th October Lara’s family and friends visited EC London to unveil a plaque in memory of Lara, and everything she did for the students and staff of EC London.

Welcome to our November update!

This month, only 8 months since Lara left us, and just 7 months since her Foundation was launched, we have some thrilling news! Thanks to all the tireless efforts, support and generous donations which continue to pour in, we have smashed through our £30,000 fundraising target. We are now able to move to the next stage of our planned progress, offering scholarships. The Lara's Foundation scholarships will enable key individuals to come to London and study English Language at EC London, on a 24 week intensive English Language course.

Find out more about what Lara's Foundation does

Finding our scholars…
Earlier this month, Lara’s Mum, Carolyn, travelled to Simijaca in Colombia, a small town of around 11,000 people, 135km from Bogotá. She visited Colegio Agustin Parra, which comprises a high school with over 2000 students and 13 elementary schools with a total of 325 students. Serving the more remote areas of the state, one school has only 4 students! Carolyn was overwhelmed by the warm welcome she received from the students, teachers, the school director Mr. Jesús Antonio Ballesteros and the Mayor. The school held their annual English Day to mark the occasion!

After meeting with all the teaching staff, scholarships were offered to one high school and one elementary school teacher. Ana Sanchez Leonor Peña and Ligia Urrego Rodriguez, both dedicated teachers who have lived and worked in Simijaca for most of their adult lives, have accepted the offer of a Lara's Foundation Scholarship. They will be arriving in the UK in early 2013 to study at EC London, the British Council accredited English Language school where Lara taught English at every level.

As teachers, Ana and Ligia are integral links in the education of the people of Simijaca. One of the conditions of accepting a Lara’s Foundation scholarship is that the recipients must undertake to return to their school for a minimum of 2 years and share the benefit of their learning not only with their students but also with other teachers, thus building English Language capacity throughout their community, an undertaking that hardly needed to be mentioned, as all the teachers were enthusiastic and eager to support their schools and build a lasting relationship between their town and Lara’s Foundation.

Christmas Cards...
Our first art project! The elementary school children have been hard at work designing Christmas Cards for Lara’s Foundation. Here they are, proudly showing off their beautiful designs.

Please keep an eye on our website for details of when they will be available.

Our first party!
Sally Crawshaw and Kate Buchanan arranged a brilliant party on November 17th, and raised £2,700. Between boogying to the live music from Blues Brothers Banned and Charlotte O'Connor, and arranging a fantastic raffle, they kept the bar well stocked with Larzini Punch and Alice Fulforth's home made starry cupcakes. Click here for pics.

Jumeirah Challenge
This month Julia and her friend Lady Elizabeth Riesenburg kayaked around the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. Not only did they paddle for 5 hours in the scorching 35 degree heat, they also got the challenge and Lara's Foundation on Dubai TV, a local radio show, various online articles, a full page in Dubai Time Out and raised over £2000!

Great South Run
Congratulations and huge thanks to Daphne-Ann, Joe, Kat and Niva who ran the Great South Run last month in pouring rain. They were all 10 mile first-timers but rocking their Lara's Foundation T-shirts they crossed the finish line in just 1 hour 40 minutes.

Great Eastern Run
In October Harriet, Kate and Rosie raised £1200 for Lara's Foundation when they completed the Great Eastern Run around Peterborough. Friends of Lara's from her ski season in St Anton, this was their first half marathon and they smashed it in fine form. Well done girls!

Lara's Foundation bags
This month we launched a dazzling range of Lara’s Foundation tote bags, handmade by the ladies of Walahanduwa village in Sri Lanka. Their sewing workshop was set up by the charity, 'Bridge2SriLanka', as part of their Bags of Appeal Project. The bags have vibrant linings matching the colours of the stars in our logo, and are sturdy enough for a visit to Tesco, but stylish enough for a Christmas night out. The illusive green lining is only available to those who have undertaken a Lara’s Foundation fundraising event - Blue Peter badge holders, eat your heart out!

Lara's Foundation memorial library
On Friday 26th October Lara’s family and friends visited EC London to unveil a plaque in memory of Lara, and everything she did for the students and staff of EC London. The plaque takes pride of place in their new library, with the words, 'This library is dedicated to the memory of Lara Jones, our beloved teacher, colleague and friend.' Rich Quarterman EC's Assistant Director of Studies said "..we hope it will inspire students to learn, to study, to travel and live life to the full, just like Lara did."

Upcoming Events
Santa Run On December 9th a team of 21 Lara's Foundation runners will be hitting Greenwich park for the annual Santa Run. Sporting snazzy Father Christmas outfits it's a respectable 5km, and kicks off at 10am - cheerleaders are welcome! To sponsor Team Santa please visit our website.

Brighton Half Marathon In February 2013, Beth and Laura friends of Lara's sister Sophie, will be doing the Brighton Half Marathon, to sponsor the ladies click here.

Reading Half Marathon In March 2013, Lara's good friend and Lara's Foundation team member Gemma Wood is running the Reading Half Marathon with her family. To sponsor Team Wood click here.

Lara's time in Colombia
Click here to see an album of Lara's photos from her time in Colombia.

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