MILESTONE (L-R): Lachlan Hayes (Pilot), Glenn Jeffrey (Careers Advisor, The Rivers Secondary College, Lismore High Campus), Cheryl Graham (College Administration Officer, The Rivers Secondary College), Gaye Titcume, from Alstonville Public School, Greg Smith (Executive Principal, The Rivers Secondary College), Jimmy Keough (Aircrew Officer).
MILESTONE (L-R): Lachlan Hayes (Pilot), Glenn Jeffrey (Careers Advisor, The Rivers Secondary College, Lismore High Campus), Cheryl Graham (College Administration Officer, The Rivers Secondary College), Gaye Titcume, from Alstonville Public School, Greg Smith (Executive Principal, The Rivers Secondary College), Jimmy Keough (Aircrew Officer). CONTRIBUTED

Half a million donated keeps Westpac Rescue Chopper flying

FOR MORE than 30 years, teachers and staff of the NSW Department of Education from across the Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast and Northern New England areas have been contributing to the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter.

The funds have been growing over time through the Service's Workplace Giving Program where staff generously give $1 or $2 a week from their pay, and for some even more. The total funds raised has just reached an incredible $500,000 which proves how just a few dollars a week really can make a huge difference.

For many of the Staff, their support is given in the hope they never need the Service, but their gift of giving has helped countless lives in ways that can't be measured throughout the community.

NSW Department of Education Secretary Mark Scott said assisting the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter in the Northern NSW community was "an opportunity the department is pleased to be a part of".

"On behalf of the local staff from the NSW Department of Education who have donated funds, I'd like to congratulate the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter team on its long-standing commitment to saving lives," Mr Scott said.

"Providing this valuable service free of charge is vital to the health and wellbeing of the community and we hope to be able to lend our support for many years to come."

Acknowledging the significant milestone, CEO of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, Mr Richard Jones OAM said the Service was extremely grateful for the support received from the NSW Department of Education.

"To raise over half a million dollars is no mean feat and knowing it has taken the help of so many people to make this support possible is something we don't take lightly nor for granted," Mr Jones said.

"I would like to thank every individual who has contributed to the Service over the past 30 years. I always say a little bit goes a long way and this just reiterates just how important community support is.

As a local charity in the Northern NSW community, the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter which is based in Lismore seeks to fundraise over $3.5M each year to ensure that its operations are on standby 24-7 and delivered free of charge to the patients they transport each year.



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