Emily (left) and Mary Betteridge with Lismore MP Thomas George after receiving their Premiers Award for 25 years service to th
Emily (left) and Mary Betteridge with Lismore MP Thomas George after receiving their Premiers Award for 25 years service to th

Sisters flying high after their efforts rewarded

By RACHEL AFFLICK rachel.afflick@northernstar.com.au AFTER 25 years fundraising for the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, it’s little wonder South Lismore sisters Mary and Emily Betteridge refer to the choppers as their babies.

Yesterday, in recognition of all their hard work, the sisters were awarded with a joint Premiers Award.

“It was a complete surprise. We never knew a thing about it,” Emily said.

The Betteridge’s were approached 25 years ago to help raise money to get a helicopter service started in Lismore. They raffled a donated crocheted rug and raised $56.

“That’s when we started and we love every minute of it,” Mary said.

Over the years their bingo nights and street raffles have raised $75,000 for the service.

They were just two of 100 emergency service personnel who attended yesterday’s Emergency Services Thanksgiving Service at Lismore’s Westpac Helicopter base.

Lismore MP Thomas George said the past few months had brought the community together.

He said last October, after 10 days battling bushfires at the Bundjulung reserve, the emergency services had barely a week to recover before a hailstorm devastated Lismore. A week later a tornado ripped through Dunoon.

“It’s frightening, but the personnel are out there immediately putting their lives at risk,” Mr George said.

At Christmas floods threatened homes and lives, and again the emergency services were out there in the rain getting people out of their houses.

“To each and every one of the personnel involved I say thank you for a job well done,” Mr George said.



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