Castlepoint residents to help Life Flight

By Hayley Gastmeier hayley.gastmeier@age.co.nz -
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The Life Flight Westpac rescue helicopter setting down at Castlepoint beach. PHOTO/JUDY WAGG
The Life Flight Westpac rescue helicopter setting down at Castlepoint beach. PHOTO/JUDY WAGG

An auction held at a Castlepoint hotel has raised almost $12,000 for the Life Flight Trust.

The Whakataki Hotel hosted the auction in conjunction with the duck hunting season opening on May 7.

Whakataki Hotel publicans Dave Hastie and Deb Thom, who bought the venue last year, say the evening was a huge success thanks to generous donations from the community.

"It wasn't really run by us, it was run at our venue but it was really run by the community who got behind Life Flight because it is such a great cause. The auction was very much a community-based event."

Mr Hastie said more than 100 businesses from Masterton and surrounding areas donated items to the auction, as did some members of the public.

Ninety lots were auctioned off, raising $11,878 for the charity that last year flew 202 people in need from Wairarapa for urgent medical care.

He said the coastal community, being so isolated, recognised the charity was a vital asset.

"We're a long way from town and when people need rescuing from here that chopper is their lifeline."

People who had needed Life Flight in a medical emergency donated items and attended the event.

Next week the couple will hand over the money to Life Flight partnerships and development manager Sherry Herrick.

Mrs Herrick said the community had been "extraordinary" in aiding the trust.

"We here at Life Flight love the support of the Whakataki pub and its community. I attended the auction and was absolutely overwhelmed with how much the people there respected and understood the importance of the service and the impact that it has on their community."

She said there had been "a lot of passion and generosity" in the room, which had resulted in the "whopping" amount of money raised.

"We are very grateful and the money raised will be put towards saving lives."

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