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Life Savers say “Thank you”

Life Savers say “Thank you”

Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust Chief Executive Officer, Rea Wikaira today extended a national thank you to the thousands of generous New Zealanders who donated to raise more than $420K in much needed funds during May in the inaugural Westpac Helicopter Appeal Month.

“The Westpac Helicopter Appeal asked New Zealand to open their pockets, wallets and hearts and give to a worthy cause – saving lives. Diverse as the country itself, donations came from people from all walks of life and represented the giving spirit of the New Zealand community. Without their ongoing commitment, Westpac Rescue Helicopters would not be the success it has been for last 35 years," Rea said.

"To those volunteers and community groups who have been with us through the years, I extend our special thanks for their dedication. I'm sure the community also appreciates the wonderful service that they have provided."

Since it began operating nearly 35 years ago Auckland’s famous red and yellow chopper has undertaken more than 12,000 accident free missions. These rescue missions cost on average $5,000 an hour to perform. About half of this comes from sponsorship and business and community donations.

Rea says the dedicated team of pilots, paramedics, flight crew and volunteers is what makes the service special within the New Zealand community.

"The Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust is proud to be associated with Westpac and the volunteers and community groups who participate. We look forward to working with them in the future,"

Rea said.

This is the first time the country’s four Westpac sponsored helicopters have united to raise money as well as highlight the work the helicopters undertake.

Westpac’s been a main sponsor of the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust for nearly 20 years and has recently committed to a further five years of support.

ENDS

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