Helicopter appeal exceeds expectations

Northland MP Matt King joined volunteers on the street collecting donations and talking to people

The fundraising event at Dargaville Ford last week for the Northland Rescue Helicopter was a huge success, raising $44,171 for the appeal and generating further community support for the vital service. The total raised for the appeal at the time of print was more than $195,000, with the closing date not until mid-December.

“It was a fun morning, and good to have the support once again. Kaipara people are very generous, and they all stepped up,” said Dargaville Ford’s sales manager, Anthony West.

At the Dargaville Ford site, the local Lions Club members were cooking and serving breakfast, raising more than $850 for their efforts. More FM’s John Markby operated the morning radio show live, making announcements of special donations arising throughout the morning, one of three locations around Northland, helping to raise a total of around $80,000. Chairman of Northland Emergency Services Trust, Paul Ahlers, was once again very impressed at the positivity in Dargaville. “I’m always blown away by the community spirit here,” he said.

Rescue service vehicles were on display from the Fire Service and St John Ambulance, with staff members and volunteers collecting donations from drivers along and around Normanby Street intersections.

Members of the public were reportedly donating large amounts and small — some emptying their cars of small change and businesses giving several thousand dollars.

Douglas Logging Dargaville held a competition between crews to raise funds to donate, which was topped up to a sizeable amount. “It’s a vital service for the entire community,” said spokesperson Kylie Douglas. NEST campaign manager, Steve MacMillan, said it was fantastic to receive support from the forestry industry, where rescue work sometimes involves helicopter extractions.

The predominant message arising from the people gathered was how important it is to support the helicopter service.

“It gets you where you need to go quickly,” said Matich’s Premier Restaurant owner, Justine Hoggard.

“You don’t know how important it is until you need it,” the owner of Wynn Fraser, Allan Gray said.

Anyone wanting to donate can visit nest.org.nz.

A crowd of locals gathered at the breakfast event to speak with
NEST members

Chairman of Northland Emergency Services Trust, Paul Ahlers, was impressed
with the generosity of the Dargaville community

Local members of Fire and Emergency New Zealand and St John Ambulance
were on the street collecting from drivers passing by



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