Mary-Jeanne, Hannah, and Sophie prepare to plummet

Marlborough girls college principal and two students

Source: Blenheim Sun

On February 22, 25 brave Marlburians will be singing Tom Petty’s ‘Free Fallin” as they jump 9,000ft from a plane.

They’re all taking part in Drop for Youth Marlborough – an initiative which will see participants go skydiving in order to raise money for local organisation, Graeme Dingle Foundation Marlborough.

Those joining in include representatives from the aquaculture industry and multiple Marlborough wineries, teachers from schools around the region, a reporter, a funeral director, real estate agents, and many others.

Also taking part will be Marlborough Girls’ College principal, Mary-Jeanne Lynch, and twin sisters and former MGC students, Sophie and Hannah Whittall (‘Team Double Trouble’).

The three jumpers are currently “working together” to get their fundraising tallies up to the $1000 required to do the drop.

“This is a great opportunity [to collaborate with Mary-Jeanne] because we’ve just left school and our relationship with MGC is still strong,” Hannah says.

“What better way to promote the cause?” When asked about why they’re participating in Drop for Youth, all three say that it’s to “take a risk and support others”.

“I’ve got to show kids that it’s okay to step outside of their comfort zones,” Mary-Jeanne says.

“I really don’t want to do it, but I’m going to because all money raised is going towards helping our young people.” Being highly involved in what goes on at MGC – both presently and in the past – Mary-Jeanne, Sophie, and Hannah have seen firsthand how GDF programmes such as Stars and Career Navigator positively impact youth in Marlborough.

“The Graeme Dingle Foundation is remarkable,” Mary-Jeanne says.

“We live in a community where there is so much support for young people.

“It’s incredible and exactly why we can do so much in our schools.” So far, fundraising efforts have included Hannah and Sophie holding a sausage sizzle and bake sale at Bunnings Warehouse Blenheim – which successfully raised $515 – and the three doing a ‘surprise’ presentation at MGC to rally support from students.

To donate towards the cause, visit or

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