Westpac appeal raises $46k for chopper service

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Northland Electricity Rescue Helicopter Trust has benefited from Northlanders' generosity. Photo/File
Northland Electricity Rescue Helicopter Trust has benefited from Northlanders' generosity. Photo/File

Northland's rescue helicopter service has been boosted by more than $46,000 raised from Northlanders as part of the the annual Westpac Chopper Appeal.

The Northland Emergency Services Trust, which runs three rescue helicopters, has received $46,514.22 from this year's Westpac Chopper Appeal.

The money raised for the service from Northland is a 13 per cent increase on last year and part of $1,383,505.20 raised nationally for the country's rescue helicopter services.

All donations from the Westpac Chopper Appeal will be distributed back to the 16 rescue chopper services across the country with the money collected in each region going back to the local trust.

Northland Emergency Services Trust CEO Pete Turnbull was delighted to get the money and blown away yet again by the generosity of Northlanders to the vital, lifesaving service.

"We are very grateful to the generosity of everyone who gave of their time, money and resources to see such a fantastic amount collected for our local chopper service. It means a lot to have the community rally behind what we do," Mr Turnbull said.

"Thank you to every person who made this possible as well as the support from Westpac through the Chopper Appeal every year."

The money comes on top of the service's own annual appeal in Northland.

More than 5500 rescue missions were undertaken by rescue helicopters around New Zealand last year; the Northland helicopters alone carried 1047 patients.

Westpac's director of corporate affairs, Sue Foley, said the total raised was another fantastic effort.

"New Zealanders have again shown amazing support for their local rescue helicopters. Their generosity continues to ensure this vital emergency service can stay in the air and carry out life-saving rescue missions every day," said Ms Foley.

"We'd like to say a big thank you to all those who dug deep and contributed, as well as those who organised and pulled off a huge variety of fundraising events in their communities. It's really important to play our part and raise awareness of this service, along with much-needed funds."

Westpac employees were also crucial to the success of this year's result with fundraising initiatives organised around the country as well as hitting the streets to collect more than $127,300 on their May 30 nationwide Chopper Street Appeal.

Donations can be made at www.chopperappeal.co.nz or any Westpac branch.

- Northern Advocate

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