Dargaville’s volunteer firefighters were out in force to support the chopper appeal

Generosity is in the air

by Andy Bryenton

Wet weather did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of a small army of volunteers from local businesses and service clubs who came together last week to raise funds for the Northland Rescue Helicopter Trust.

Event host, Lindsay West of Dargaville Ford, dismissed the wet weather as irrelevant with an enthusiastic smile. Justifiably so; a large turnout clustered under the marquee on his forecourt, enjoying a breakfast barbecue as the buckets of donations filled up. Numerous local businesses and clubs made the trip to deposit cheques, some of them in the thousands of dollars. More FM’s breakfast hosts reported on the rising tide of generosity while ambulance officers, firefighters and representatives of Northpower shook buckets and stopped traffic.

Guest auctioneer Chris Fife added his best quick-fire voice to the mix, pulling in more donations with an auction including Ford Tools, sports jerseys, and custom made items crafted by the engineers at West Coast Steelworx.

“It’s great to see so many people pitching in, despite the rain,” said Chris.

“It’s all about community, after all, and keeping that helicopter flying.”

The centrepiece for young kids and ‘big boys’ both alike was the appearance of drift racing hero Fanga Dan and his v8 Ford Mustang drift car. Modified Ford Rangers, fire trucks and ambulances filled the forecourt and attracted public attention. Preliminary results put the total raised in the Kaipara at $39,000, with more potentially to come. Envelopes have been sent to all Kaipara households as part of the appeal, extending the opportunity to give for those who missed out on the day.