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Auckland Airport firefighters get chilly for charity

24 August 2012

Auckland Airport firefighters get chilly for charity

The Firefighter Chill Factor Challenge 2012 saw a team of Auckland Airport firefighters take to the mountain today in a quest to raise money for the Bruce Grant Youth Trust.

The 2012 Chill Factor Challenge, an annual event which was held today for the second time, saw eight teams of four firefighters from across the country complete as many runs as they could down Coronet Peak in two hours, but all the while attached to a fire hose.

Each descent the firefighters made was sponsored, with the money raised donated to the Bruce Grant Youth Trust, a local Queenstown charity that helps youth to undertake sports, arts or cultural activities in which they excel or show a particular interest in.

The Firefighter Challenge, organised by Auckland Airport firefighter Tony Scott, saw a team from the Auckland Airport Emergency Services crew venture down to Queenstown to compete against teams from the Queenstown, Wanaka and South Bridge fire brigades, as well as a mixed team of firefighters from a number of different brigades.

The Queenstown ‘1’ team, with all skiers, came in first, followed by the Queenstown ‘2&3’ team, featuring both skiers and boarders, with Auckland Airport and their boarders coming in third.

The event raised $8,200 in total for the Bruce Grant Youth Trust with the Auckland Airport fire brigade raising $7,100 of this alone by getting out and about in the Auckland Airport terminals prior to the event and collecting on behalf of the Trust.

Tony Scott says he is delighted with how the day has progressed since the inaugural event was held last year. “We had five more teams competing this year and have managed to raise over four times what we raised last year! It is fantastic to see how much this event has grown.”

The 2012 Chill Factor Challenge also saw a new event added to the itinerary this year called the K2 climb. The climb is held in memory of Bruce Grant, who was a Winter Olympic athlete and adventurer who sadly passed away while climbing K2, the second highest mountain on Earth.

The K2 Climb saw 22 fireman from a number of brigades around the country complete a gruelling 150 metre snow climb up Coronet Peak. The climb started outside the Coronet Peak Café, meaning there were many people out there cheering on the fireman, helping to raise awareness of the Bruce Grant Youth Trust.

“I couldn’t be happier with how the day turned out,” says Tony. “All the firemen have put in so much hard work, not only in competing in the events but also with all their fundraising efforts.”

“It was great to see everyone out there enjoying themselves and working hard to raise awareness and funds for the Trust. And I have to say that although using the fire hose to get down the mountain was pretty tough-going, we seem to have improved from last year which is great!”

“Hands down the highlight of the event was handing over the money to Trust,” continues Tony. “At the end of the day we are all here to help support this wonderful charity and all the great work they do, so being able to hand over a cheque for $8,200 to the Trust was extremely rewarding.”

Craig Ferguson, Trustee of the Bruce Grant Youth Trust, adds “Although this event is only two years old, it has become very important to us because in terms of funding it provides us with some certainty as the Trust looks to stabilise its funding pool.”

“As well as this, the new K2 event is an exciting addition to the day and is a fantastic tribute to the namesake of our Trust – Bruce Grant.”


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