Massive community support was shown to the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter (WLSRH) over two days of FUNdraising last week.
Last Friday was deemed ‘Chopper Day’ and saw selected cafes in the region serve takeaway coffees in chopper cups.
The WLSRH Facebook page was flooded with photos of the cups in interesting places.
WLSRH communications officer Therese Schier told Echonetdaily ‘The day went beyond our wildest dreams yet it was what we hoped would happen’.
Lismore cafe Dragonfly participated in the event and a staffer said ‘Customers were getting behind it – QBE producing the biggest order of 37 cups of coffee for their workers this morning and made a donation’.
Ms Schier told Echonetdaily that ‘The event will run next year. We are happy to say that the cups were 100 per cent biodegradable. We are a bronze partner in the NSW sustainability program and have just installed solar panels on the roof’.
On Saturday, sunny weather made for a great outing for families who attended the WLSRH Helibase open day in Lismore which included meeting the pilots, crew and Pilot Kevvy, having a go on the rescue winch, rescue displays, obstacle course, face painting, jumping castle and a sausage sizzle.
Karen from Casino, who took her two children, told Echonetdaily ‘The kids enjoyed the physical activities the day offered, especially the obstacle course.
‘Conquering a video game usually does not have physical requirements, so seeing what it takes to pull or lift something gives them a respect for roles such as rescue workers, having a go on the rescue winch showed the kids that the procedure is safe and there is nothing to be afraid of,’ Karen said.
During the day, the helicopter and crew were tasked to a serious motor vehicle accident at a notorious black spot near the Iluka turn-off on the Pacific Highway, a further reminder that the region depends on the service.
Lions Clubs across northern NSW announced at the Open Day that they will become a community partner with the WLSRH. Their logo will now appear on both aircrafts and at the Lismore Helibase.
Speaking on behalf of Lions Club members, Merv Ferguson said ‘The Lions are pleased to be involved with the Westpac Chopper because this is what Lions do, we assist organisations that assist others and what better way to do this than join with one that saves lives’.
Ms Schier said ‘The WLSRH will receive $35,000 that will go to the end of June 2014, with a very big hope that it may be ongoing’.
WLSRH fundraising manager Zeke Huish welcomed the partnership.
‘On behalf of the Helicopter community across our flight region, I sincerely thank the Lions Club members for their time and effort in raising funds to support the rescue helicopter service,’ Mr Huish said.
‘Lions club members can truly say they are part of every mission we fly.’
The Rescue Rumble fundraiser which was to take place at Billinudgel over the weekend was postponed until Sunday, September 29, for a 7am start. The course runs over 5km with 35 obstacles for all levels. For bookings and more information go to