RESIDENTS of Port Stephens all know that in a medical emergency we can count on the Westpac Rescue Helicopter to be there.
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The Port Stephens Westpac Helicopter Support Group raises funds to ensure that the service stays in the air.
They recently held a fundraising raffle at MarketPlace Raymond Terrace to support the cause.
Marg Wilbow told News Of The Area, “Local businesses donated some of the raffle prizes, with gift packs from Blooms Chemist, and Terrace Meats and Dan Murphy both donating gift vouchers to entice locals to buy a ticket or two.”
The Members of the Support Group donated a handmade throw rug, and bohemia wine glasses and a bottle of wine as well.
“It was a very successful day due to the generosity of the public with over $280 raised,” she said.
To date $24,000 has been forwarded to The Westpac Helicopter Service by Port Stephens Support Group.
The biggest fundraising event “The Angel Billy “golf day will be held on 28th October at Nelson Bay Golf Club.
The continued efforts of the community are needed to keep the service in the air.
It costs around $40 million dollars annually to keep the helicopters and crews ready to respond when needed.
The operating costs of the helicopters are approximately $1,000 per hour in fuel, $1,000 per hour to run the engine, $1,500 for the airframe and for $500 avionics, a total of $4,000 per hour.
The crews fly approximately 2000 missions a year, saving lives in Port Stephens, the Hunter and north to Byron Bay and West as far as Lightning Ridge.
The Port Stephens Westpac Helicopter Support Group is one of 37 member organisations with 1000 members who all raise funds for the cause.
By Marian SAMPSON