LONDON, ONT -- Students from Emily Stowe Public School in Norwich suffered the disappointment that COVID-19 was cancelling their graduation trip to Quebec, but those students and their families saw an opportunity to do some good with the funds they raised.

A total of 12,887.27 raised by students at the school will be donated to the Children’s Health Foundation, and the Otterville and Norwich Optimist clubs.

The organizations were chosen after the school surveyed the 54 Grade 8 graduates and their families.

The Foundation and the clubs will get an equal share of the total amount.

“I am so pleased that the Grade 8s chose our local Optimist club that puts the money right back into the community,” said Alison Vankerrebroek, president of the Norwich Optimist Club, and Emily Stowe teacher, in a release.

“I am so glad the Grade 8 class decided to keep the funds in the community.”

The President and CEO of Children’s Health Foundation, Scott Fortnum, also thanked the students for their donation.

“While it is disappointing that these Grade 8 students missed out on a graduation trip, it is wonderful to see them find a way to make it still meaningful. This generous donation will support patients at Children's Hospital who are experiencing their own challenges in hospital during a pandemic.”

Otterville Optimist Club president Christine Hussey said her organization is “very grateful and appreciative for the donation from the Grade 8 class of 2020,” and that the funds will be staying in the community.

A ceremony is planned with students from the graduating class presenting the donations to representatives from each organization on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 2 p.m. at the school.