A Sheffield school is celebrating this morning after riding an ‘emotional rollercoaster’ at the Herd of Sheffield auction last night.
Pupils, parents and friends from High Storrs school had clubbed together to raise £2,600 and were hoping to place the winning bid on the fiberglass elephant A Sheffield Summer that stood proudly outside Sheffield train station this summer.
The school's administrative clerk Jane Norburn, who designed the elephant, said: “The children really wanted that elephant badly. They had been pouring their piggy banks on my desk.”
Bids for all 58 elephants were far higher than expected last night and more than £400,000 was raised for the Children’s Hospital in total.
Jane ‘collapsed in floods of tears’ when the school's offer of £2,600 was easily surpassed in the ferocious bidding and her much-loved sculpture was sold for £6,200.
But the tears became joyful minutes later when Philip Prince, a local property developer who bought the elephant, announced his decision to give ‘Summer’ to the school.
Philip's wife Debbie said: "I was really proud of him. High Storrs is just up the road from where we live and it's just such a nice thing to do."
Debbie managed to get Jane’s mobile number from a mutual friend and texted the designer to say: “She’s yours”.
When Jane saw the couple, she did not know how to thank them.
“I think I broke Phil’s back hugging him. And then I did the same to Debbie,” she said.
The school have donated their £2,600 on top of the price paid for Summer by Debbie and Philip.
Philip also bought the most expensive elephant of the night - Pete McKee’s Majorie - for £22,000.
Claire Pender, Assistant Headteacher at High Storrs school, said: “I feel so incredibly honoured to have been involved and represent High Storrs at the auction. It was an emotional rollercoaster, surreal at times, but such a rush to finally sign the Memorandum of Sale confirming Summer’s homecoming.”
A Sheffield Summer will be proudly displayed in one of the quads at the school.
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