More than $100,000 has come from Repco Beach Hop donations over seven years to Whangamata Coastguard - local volunteers who are just one of many gratefully accepting money on Sunday.
The good guys and gals were out in force at the Whangamata Club on Sunday, receiving $60,000 of the $100,000-plus fundraised by Repco Beach Hop committee volunteers and those who donated at the 2021 event.
"We do only about 50 missions a year but our operating costs are in the region of $100,000 so we spend quite a lot of money, quite a lot of it in the town," Whangamata Coastguard president Mike Judd said.
He said Coastguard had become technology based and had recently installed radar in its vessel allowing it to spot things that are of a slightly different temperature in the water when out searching.
Also thanking the Repco Beach Hop crew, Doug Walters from the Coromandel Rescue Helicopter Trust said about 20 to 30 missions a month happened on the Coromandel and 200 over the peak month of summer.
The trust partners with the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust, which carries out most of the rescue missions to the Coromandel.
It built a rescue facility in Whitianga thanks to the hard work and generosity of the community and the New Zealand public.
Doug said the Beach Hop money would go towards a ground fuel facility where rescue choppers can come in and do double missions if they want to, replacing the old tanker in Whitianga that needs to increase its capacity from 20,000 litres.
"The idea is to build a new facility that we can offer police and other emergency organisations that are using choppers to provide service for this region."
Noddy said fundraising for emergency services in our area "to keep us all safe" was the purpose of the festival.
"When someone goes for a swim, the surf lifesaving club will be there, when you go out on your boat you can get on the radio and say 'help'.
"When you get woken up by the 'doof doof' sound, that's the helicopter coming to take someone away to a safer place, and thank goodness we have you guys here because it's really reassuring.
"People say we need to leave town to be closer to a hospital? No, we just need a helicopter."
Paul Hughes from Whangamata Volunteer Fire Brigade accepted their donation, which would build a single stop for firefighters accessing kit in a callout.
"We're in the business of every second counts. It's precious seconds that can be lost so we're building a new facility to sharpen up all the processes."
Paul is also a school teacher.
The Whangamata Area School received $16,000 from caravan camping during the festival and the quiz night held during the event.
He said each year after the quiz night, school principal Alistair Luke shares with staff how much was given: "and we certainly appreciate your generosity there too".
The money was presented by Repco's "face of Beach Hop" Des Wenmoth, who retired from Repco after 57 years of service.
Whangamata St John chairwoman Lynne Parsons said the money would go to towards the St John health shuttle helping people to get to any medical appointment in the region.
"One of the things we don't have to ask for from those using the shuttle is a donation because we have the op shop in town and money we get given by organisations which help the community, so thank you very much."
Through auctions at the 2021 event, $25,000 went towards helping residents dealing with cancer.
Tairua Pauanui LandSAR's Fiona Coollum used the opportunity to promote the need for more volunteers in its group, saying not everyone had to be out in the field if they did not want to.
We relied entirely on raffles, and it was Beach Hop that helped us to purchase essential surf lifesaving equipment
Macca (Ian) McAuley from Whangamata Club revealed the club's intention to do extensions and improvements over the next few years, saying the Hop provided a financial boost to the club and town.
"If Beach Hop didn't happen here we'd be pretty quiet here a lot of the time. It's fantastic."
Finally, Richard Scelly from Whangamata Surf Life Saving Club thanked and congratulated Noddy on his NZ Order of Merit.
"I think we should take a little nick out of it and give it to each of you, because you're volunteers and ultimately it's your support, through Noddy, that has been able to make the Beach Hop what it is today," he told the room.
The surf club was so lucky to have Beach Hop.
"There was no government funding, no pub charity, we relied entirely on raffles, and it was Beach Hop that helped us to purchase essential surf lifesaving equipment and we never stop. Our equipment has a three-year cycle and you can imagine radios, tubes, IRBs and motors, it's constant. But the Beach Hop was there from day one."
The Repco Beach Hop 2022 will again return to Thames and Waihi.
This week the committee purchased two 1968 F100 Ford pickup trucks, both big block power, and will be here by the end of July so the amazing crew can start work to have them ready to give away next year.