A preamble to a crucial fundraiser for the Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter was held at the helicopter hangar last night.
The annual Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter Cocktail Party will be hosted by Lindisfarne College on May 16 and feature an auction designed to raise funds for the service, which undertook more than 320 emergency missions across the Hawke's Bay region per year.
At the launch were Hastings Karamu Rotary Club members, event sponsors and auction donors as well as past auction winners. Guests learned about the items that would be up for auction at the cocktail party and bought tickets to the event.
Event organiser Stephen Eaton said many of the items on auction "couldn't be bought anywhere else". These included an 18crt yellow and white gold diamond ring from Grieves Jewellers, return flights to Queenstown staying at Pepper Beacon Resort and a BMW Alpine XDrive experience from Best Travel and Jeff Gray BMW.
There was also an "ultimate wedding anniversary experience" up for auction, which would involve a helicopter flight to a secret location in the Kaweka Range and a return flight to the Mangapapa Petit Hotel, where the winners would enjoy a nine-course degustation meal and one night's accommodation.
Mr Eaton expected 500 guests at the cocktail party: "People can come along, have a good time and bid on auction items. It's for a fantastic local cause."
In order to operate the service, the Rescue Helicopter Trust needed to raise $1.2 million annually.