Westpac Chopper Appeal raises more than $340,000

By Fiona Connor

A remarkable collage of more than 1000 faces was used to form the colourful skin of a rescue chopper to thank and recognise people who made donations to the annual appeal.

This year's Westpac Chopper Appeal has raised $340,569.10 for the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter. That's Auckland's share of $1,307,810.53 raised across the country.

Those who donated through the Westpac Chopper Appeal website could upload their Facebook profile picture after making a donation, which was then printed on one of the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter fleet, which they dubbed The People's Chopper.

"The concept of wrapping the Waikato-based chopper with the faces of the appeal's online supporters was Westpac's way of paying homage to those who donated to the crucial service," a representative from Westpac said.

Jennifer Jarman of Auckland donated to the appeal and her profile picture appeared on the chopper.

"When I saw all the faces on the chopper it really felt like we had a special part to play in supporting the rescue helicopters and keeping their services operational. It looks amazing," she said.

She said she made a donation because it was a great cause and a unique way to be involved.

The chopper made a number of appearances last month, including at the National Fieldays at Mystery Creek.

It has now been painted over and is ready to return to work.

All donations from the appeal are distributed throughout the 16 rescue helicopter services across the country.

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

- NZ Herald

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