Locals raised $11,943.05 for the BayTrust Rescue Helicopter through this year's Westpac Chopper Appeal.

This is part of $1,307,810.53 raised across the country.

All donations from the Westpac Chopper Appeal are distributed back to the 16 rescue helicopter services across the country, meaning money raised locally, stays local.

BayTrust Rescue Helicopter base manager and pilot, Barry Vincent said the Rotorua community may be small, but its generosity was overwhelming.

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"Thank you for supporting your local rescue helicopter, we could not do what we do without your donations and the support of Westpac through the Chopper Appeal every year."

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

"Kiwis from around the country have once again rallied strongly behind their local rescue helicopters to ensure they can continue to carry out life-saving rescue missions every day.

"We'd like to say thank you to everyone who contributed to the total through your donations, and in many cases, a lot of time to organise the wide variety of fundraising events this year.

"The reality is your generosity will make a tangible difference in saving people's lives."
Westpac employees also contributed to this year's successful fundraiser with initiatives organised around the country as well as hitting the streets to collect $84,221.20 in the nationwide Chopper Street Appeal.

In a new fundraising initiative for this year's appeal, those who donated online at www.chopperappeal.co.nz had the opportunity to upload their Facebook profile picture which was then printed on one of the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopters, making it 'The People's Chopper'.

An impressive collage of more than 1000 faces formed a colourful new skin around the chopper.

Donations are welcome throughout the year and can be made at www.chopperappeal.co.nz or any Westpac branch.