A CHARITY fundraiser jeopardised by the York High School fire is back on, after a city hotel answered pupils’ plea for help.

Staff and youngsters had planned to hold an auction in the school to raise money for a trip to a partner school in Korogwe, Tanzania.

But their plans literally went up in smoke when a massive blaze ripped through the building in Dijon Avenue.

The group, called Team Tanzania, issued an SOS in The Press and big-hearted staff at the York Hilton have now stepped in to save the day.

Karen Garrity, whose son James is one of those making the trip, said: “As a result of the article, we are delighted to confirm that the York High School Team Tanzania Auction will be held on the evening of Sunday, November 23, at the Hilton Hotel York in association with Platinum Entertainments.

“We would like to thank everyone who has come forward and offered us either a venue or their time and services.”

Darren Walsh, the hotel’s operations manager, said: “With such a traumatic thing, of course, we could help.”

Mrs Garrity also thanked everyone who had donated auction items. She said: “The response so far has been amazing.”

Lots donated include weekend breaks, spa treatments, a 42-inch Plasma TV, tickets for various events and attractions, and a clay pigeon shooting day.

Deputy head teacher Gavin Cowley has also written to Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis, who may be donating a prize from the Red Letter Days company.

Mr Cowley said he was “absolutely delighted” with the response to the group’s appeal, but said further donations were still welcome.

He said: “Hopefully people will be encouraged to help.”

York High is twinned with Korogwe School and money has been raised to send resources and equipment to Africa.

Team Tanzania, which consists of 12 pupils and three staff, will go out next July, hoping to develop relationships with local people and pupils through sports leadership activities and community work.

The estimated cost of the expedition is £30,000 and pupils are organising all the fundraising.

Tickets for the auction will be on sale from Monday, November 3, at a cost of £5 each, including a glass of wine or juice.

To apply for a ticket, phone York High on 01904 791674 or apply in writing to Tanzania Auction, York High School, Dijon Ave, Acomb, York YO24 3DD. Enclose a large, stamped, addressed envelope.

To offer further auction lots or donate to the fund, phone Gavin Cowley, at York High School, or Karen Garrity on 07871 954085.