Charity festivities support local lifesaving service
Toowoomba and South-West residents showed their support for RACQ LifeFlight Rescue over two busy weekends of charity events for the rescue helicopter service.
Three major events were held, including a fundraising ‘birthday’ bash by local HOGS (Harley Owners Group), a painting stall by renowned artist, Wayne Clements and Red Day 2017 - in honour of Injune pilot Jeff 'Red' Dean who died after his helicopter crashed while mustering cattle near Mitchell in May 2015.
LifeFlight's Roma-based Surat Gas Aero-Medical Service (SGAS) Paramedic, Matt Hunter collected a cheque for more than $10,000 from Donna Sutton, Bymount Community organisation treasurer, friend and neighbour of the late chopper pilot.
Red Day is now an annual event in the South-West's fundraising calendar.
Nikki Bloom, LifeFlight's South-West Community Engagement said events like Red Day made a lifesaving difference to the region.
"Over the last two years, Red Day has raised more than $33,255. We know that remote communities, especially in the South-West use our services more than most and we’re glad we can be there to help local people in their hour of need,” said Nikki.
“The generous donations from Red Day help to ensure our choppers are always there, regardless of the fact that rural communities are separated from hospital care by vast distances.”
Celebrations also kicked off for the Darling Downs Harley Davidson, ‘HOGS’ inaugural first birthday bash at their Toowoomba store on Saturday, May 20 with proceeds from the day going towards saving lives in the South-West.
HOGS around Australia have been long-time supporters of RACQ LifeFlight Rescue, with the Gold Coast chapter donating $30,000 two weeks ago from a bike rally held in March.
The all-ages event attracted more than 300 people who enjoyed a range of activities and prizes, raising approximately $500 for LifeFlight.
Motorcycle enthusiasts took part in a race of a different kind, competing against each other to see which rider possessed the most balance, skill and restraint in a ‘slow race’ around a parking lot, where contestants were disqualified for putting their feet on the ground.
Darling Downs Harley Davidson Manager, Cameron Watts said the HOGS continued to support RACQ LifeFlight Rescue because many bike riders had been helped by the lifesaving service.
“If you have an accident on your motorcycle in the middle of nowhere, LifeFlight are the ones who are going to pick you up,” said Cameron.
The main prize - a limited edition signed helmet by one of the founding descendants of Harley Davidson - will be raffled off over the next fortnight and is expected to bring in more fundraising dollars for the charity.
“We do this for LifeFlight to keep the service going and be there if anything does happen,” said Cameron.
“If we go riding out west, it could be more than 100 kilometres to the nearest town and 300 kilometres to the nearest hospital.
“You have to appreciate that LifeFlight are the ones who are going to come and get you if you have an accident.”.
Renowned local artist, Wayne Clements showed his support for LifeFlight last weekend, holding a stall at Toowoomba’s Grand Central shopping centre.
Wayne has been a dedicated supporter of LifeFlight over the years, fundraising more than $70,000 by auctioning off a range of his impressive paintings and holding raffles for the rescue helicopter service.
LifeFlight is a community-based charity that relies on donations from the public and community support.
To support LifeFlight visit: