A Whanganui firefighter is amazed by the success of a fundraising concert she organised, coming away with more than double her target profit.
Jay Rickard is taking part in the Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge on May 18 to raise funds and awareness for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand. The annual challenge involves firefighters, wearing up to 25kg of kit, climbing 51 flights of stairs in Auckland's 328m-tall Sky Tower. Participants have a target to raise $1000 each.
Rickard, the lead singer of local band Rock Heart Cult, asked her musician friends to help out with a fundraising concert at Lucky Bar + Kitchen on Saturday, April 20, with many, including DRXNES, Metropolis, 440, Wildcard, Dave Muso and Cassette Club, answering the call.
"It was beyond my expectations," Rickard said.
"It was amazingly successful. I was looking to raise $1000 but we made $2292. Whanganui is so supportive, it's not funny.
"There were about 110 people there. A lot of people go away on Easter weekend so I wasn't expecting that many people.
"We had a really good night. It helped that it was for a good cause. It wasn't all me - I had heaps of helpers and I couldn't have done it without them."
It will be Rickard's second Sky Tower Challenge and she is aiming to beat her previous time. In 2015 she completed it in 19 minutes, 10 seconds. She was a volunteer firefighter back then, working for rural fire and fire operations, and became a career firefighter in 2016.