Westpac Rescue Helicopter Sports Day Approaching Will you play for the chopper?

October 15, 2013

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service local committee, in conjunction with Bingara Sporting Club Ltd, is very happy with the way their major fundraising event for the year is developing.

Only a little more than a week away, on Saturday 26th October, the Sporting Club welcomes everyone in the community to “Play For The Chopper”. Golf, bowls and tennis will be the order of the day and – most importantly – you don’t have to be a regular bowler, golfer or tennis player to take part, as the events are designed for players of all standards.

For instance, Ambrose golf is where all players drive from the tee but, for their second shots, all play from where the best ball lands. It is a lot of fun, and is played even at high international level on occasions. Teams will be evenly graded.

Bowls will probably be mixed triples, but this will be decided according to the number of entries.

Tennis will be social tennis rather than competitive. It is also fine to play golf in the morning and bowls or tennis in the afternoon.

The day commences with the first of the 9 hole Ambrose golf events at 10 am. A smorgasbord lunch will be held from 12.30pm, bowls and tennis from 1.30pm, and the second 9 hole ambrose golf event from 2pm.

At the conclusion of the afternoon’s sport, a sausage sizzle barbecue will be available, and the various presentations and major raffle draw will take place. Presentations will be made by WRHS New England/ North West Advisory Committee Chairman and Hunter Region Board member Max Cathcart.

The organizers have put together a great value package for everyone. The entry fee of $25 covers green fees, lunch, a donation to the helicopter service and the sausage sizzle at the end of the day. Anyone not wanting to play sport but wishing to support this worthy cause are most welcome. To encourage families to participate, school age kids play for free, and need only pay $10 for lunch. It should be a really enjoyable day.

Raffle creating good support

The committee is currently conducting a major raffle, with $1,500 worth of prizes, in conjunction with the sports day. First prize is an accommodation package for up to four people at the Hunter Valley Cypress Lakes Golf and Spa Resort for two nights mid-week, plus one round of golf on the resort’s Championship 18 hole golfcourse.

And if you don’t play golf, there is plenty of great activity to be had in the Hunter Valley. The value of the prize is around a thousand dollars.

Second prize is one of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service’s much prized Eskys, and third prize a golf umbrella.

Tickets at $5 each, or three for $10, are available at the Imperial Hotel , Bingara Sporting Club , Bingara Pharmacy and the Sportsmans Hotel. Tickets will also be on sale outside IGA on Thursday morning, Saturday morning (19th) and on the Sports Day itself on October 26.

The Sports Day is being assisted in many ways, by a large number of sponsors and supporters. These include Bilsborough’s Mechanical Repairs, Southwell’s Total Weed and Scrub Control, Russell Smyth, Ben Monie’s Thornleigh Hereford Stud, John and Jill Herring, Garry and Linda McDouall’s River House, Brian Leadbeatter’s newly-opened Bingara Service Station, Scott and Regina Michell’s Bike Territory, Bilsborough’s Bingara Bus Company, the Munro family’s Booroomooka Angus Stud , Will and Lindy Cannington’s Back Creek White Dorpers, John and Wendy Wearne, Jason Bridges, the Bingara Advocate, Gwydir Shire Council, WRHS Tamworth Base and Cypress Lakes Resort, and more. If you would like to add your support it would be most welcome.

Did you know?

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service began in the Hunter Region in 1975, originally for beach and surf life saving rescue and patrols. The service evolved as time went by to encompass general medical retrieval services.

The service began its operations in Tamworth from August 2000 as the New England /North West region.

Though its parent organization remains Newcastle-based, great care was taken in the original operating charter to ensure that all money raised within this area all stays in this area. This is a fundamental principle of the New England/North West Advisory Committee.

It is a huge operation, but very successfully managed. Operating from an impressive 2.2m base at Tamworth Airport, the service has two aircraft available, carries out most of its own servicing, and from next year will be operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service is now performing nearly 300 missions per year. The budget to operate on this level now exceeds 4 million dollars – 1.5 m of which is raised within the region from corporate and community fundraising.

That is why the 20 or so local committees, such as Bingara’s, are so vital. In fact, Bingara was one of the first committees formed, has been operating for 11 years, and has raised several hundred thousand dollars in that time. Funds are raised through payroll deductions, balls, golf days, bingo, cycling rallies, stud stock sales, raffles – and every type of event one could imagine.

The biggest funding component comes from the NSW Ambulance Service, but without the support of local communities the service would be unable to uphold its two fundamental principles – one – that if you need medical retrieval it will be available , and two – nobody has to pay.

And – just for interests sake – the flying time from Tamworth to Bingara in a Bell helicopter is 37 minutes.