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CareFlight to fly in for Lights on the Hill

Hundreds of trucks will once again rumble into Gatton in honour of the trucking industry and to raise much-needed funds for RACQ CareFlight Rescue at the Lights on the Hill Memorial Convoy this weekend.

The Toowoomba based CareFlight helicopter will make a spectacular landing at Gatton Race Course (subject to availability) when it touches down for the Lights on the Hill event on Saturday February 28.

More than 600 trucks are expected to take part in the twelfth annual event, which supports Queensland truck drivers and honours the fallen, particularly those who have died on the roads.

CareFlight Aircrewman Eddie Balarezo said the RACQ CareFlight Rescue helicopter service is called to road crashes all too often.

“One in ten of all missions CareFlight performs is to treat and airlift patients injured in road accidents,” Mr Balarezo said.

“In 2014, CareFlight crews were kept busy flying more than 100 emergency airlifts following serious motor vehicle accidents across the State.”

CareFlight’s South West Fundraising Manager Sarah Delahunty said with each critical rescue mission costing more than $12,500, CareFlight relies on the support of the community.

“Events such as the Lights on the Hill Memorial Convoy are vital to the stability of our not-for-profit service by helping to raise necessary funds to keep our lifesaving helicopters in the air,” she said.

“It’s set to be a fantastic day out for the family, so mark the date in your calendar because you won’t want to miss out.”

The highly anticipated event, organised by the Lights on the Hill Committee, is shaping up to be the biggest and best to date with a day of family friendly activities and entertainment.

Truck convoys depart BP Archerfield in Brisbane and Brown and Hurley Toowoomba at 9.30am, descending on the Lockyer Valley between 11am and 1pm.

In addition to the truck convoy, there will be kid’s rides, auctions, food, a licensed bar and a range of market stalls.

“CareFlight will have a stall set up in the market area, so be sure to come and say hello, and look for volunteers shaking the collection tins,” Ms Delahunty said.

A fantastic line up of country bands and artists will start at 5pm including Golden Guitar winner Adam Brand and McAlister Kemp in one of their final live performances.

The Lights on the Hill Trucking Memorial President Kerry Wilkins said the event is expecting a very large turn out this year with more than 10,000 people tipped to attend.

“What started as a small fundraiser with 222 trucks and 3,000 people has evolved into one of the premier events in South East Queensland,” Mr Wilkins said.

“Last year’s convoy saw 600 trucks and 10,000 people turn out for the celebration and this year we expect to surpass this.”

The event raised $5,500 for Toowoomba’s lifesaving helicopter rescue service in 2014.

“CareFlight’s service is vital to the transport industry,” Mr Wilkins said.

“They are often out picking up one of us, so this is our way to give back to an organisation that helps us.”

The Lights on the Hill kicks off at Gatton Race Course from 9am.