'Copter sets sights high for doorknock
THE Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter wants to raise more than $150,000 in its annual doorknock appeal this year, and Year 10 student Leigh Stewart, of Trinity Catholic College, is helping the service get there.
On Sunday, August 30, Leigh will be doorknocking with other students throughout the area, starting in Goonellabah and following the highway into Lismore.
“I really wanted to do something for the community,” he said.
“I've spoken to people who have participated in the doorknock and have had good reviews.”
Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter business development manager Nyree Epplett said Trinity Catholic College was one of many schools to be involved in the doorknock.
“Trinity are long-time supporters of our doorknock,” she said. “We approached a lot of schools from the area, but anyone can be a volunteer. We're actually looking for more volunteer drivers and volunteer collectors.”
Ms Epplett said money raised from the doorknock would go towards essential maintenance of the two rescue helicopters.
“Funds will be allocated to ongoing maintenance for the helicopters, as well as day-to-day operating costs, which total about $5.5 million a year,” she said.
“The average cost of running a helicopter is $3750 an hour, or over $5000 per mission.”
Ms Epplett said the service, which had airlifted almost 6000 people in its 26 years of operation, had themed this year's doorknock 'Celebrating Life' to reflect on the extra hours of life given to those saved by the service.
Clare Mazzer, of East Ballina, is one of the many who owe their lives to the service.
She was airlifted to hospital in critical condition with a brain aneurism in December 2002 and is celebrating more than 2441 days of life since the incident.
“It's a very vital and life-saving service,” she said.
To donate or become a volunteer doorknock collector call 6627 4444.