Grant McNamara, a local Stanthorpe grazier has organised the auction for next Friday, February 3, and secured the donation of more than 40 head of cattle from supporters across the Stanthorpe and Granite Belt regions.
Support and donations to the LifeFlight helicopter rescue service are still flowing in, but they also include an unknown number of sheep as well as bottles of wine and other various items of interest.
“The support has been quite phenomenal,” said Grant, who has had more than 20 vendors donate to the charity auction.
Like many regional farmers, Grant knows first hand the importance of a rapid-response aero-medical service after he was diagnosed with appendicitis at the age of 19 while living in Aramac.
While he was airlifted by the Royal Flying Doctor Service back in 1989, Grant is passionate about ensuring that that aero-medical services like RACQ LifeFlight Rescue are around for future generations. It’s that passion which inspired the charity auction.
“LifeFlight and the RFDS are probably the backbone of medical health in regional Australia. We don’t have the facilities they do in the big city which means we rely on services like LifeFlight,” said Grant.
The cattle property Grant manages, The Ridge, sits directly under the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue flight path and the familiar hum of the chopper is an almost daily reminder of the services impact on the community.
Last calendar year, RACQ LifeFlight Rescue completed 220 missions in the Southern Downs, including 188 inter-hospital transfers, three neonatal transfers, 27 primary missions and two search and rescues, in a service worth over $2.75 million to the region.
With each mission costing in excess of $12,500, the charity cattle auction hopes to raise over $75,000 for LifeFlight Rescue.
The livestock charity auction is the first time one has been held in conjunction with the Stanthorpe show and Grant hopes it will become an annual event.
“We’ve got this far in about three months so I’m hoping that next year we can keep rolling on and add more vendors to the auction,” said Grant.
“Vendors who are donating now are pretty keen to keep this going for next year.”
The Cattle Auction will begin at 11.30am on Friday February 3, with wine and sheep charity auctions continuing throughout the night.
The RACQ LifeFlight Rescue crew will show their appreciation by making a special visit to the Stanthorpe Show with a dusk landing on Friday.
Support LifeFlight and the Charity Cattle Auction over the weekend of the 3rd – 5th February at the Stanthorpe Showgrounds.