'Model' Citizens Raise $31,000 for Life-saving Charity

Ninety-two models from across regional Queensland have proven you don’t have to be a doctor to help save lives.

The RACQ CQ Rescue Model Search last month raised more than $31,500 for the region’s rescue helicopter service. Organiser Brooke Thompson, of Brooke Lee Models, handed over the donation to RACQ CQ Rescue CEO Martin Cleland at the life-saving aeromedical organisation’s headquarters at Mackay Airport recently.

“Our goal this year for the RACQ CQ Rescue Model Search was to equal or beat the $28,000 we raised in 2015, so we are absolutely thrilled to have achieved a figure $3000 higher for the rescue helicopter that does such a fantastic job here in this region,” Ms Thompson said.

“Our models were very resourceful raising over and above their $250 entrant fee this year. Some held raffles and glow stick fundraisers, others sold fundraising chocolates and Valentine’s Day chocolates.

“This year we also had many entrants from further afield from places like Emerald, Moranbah, Middlemount, Biloela, Yeppoon, Dysart and Gladstone and their commitment to fundraising was certainly very impressive and resulted in a great outcome for our nominated charity, RACQ CQ Rescue.”

One of the 2016 entrants was 14-year-old Moranbah State High School Tia McGovern who dedicated her spare time and efforts to raise funds for the service which helped save her mum’s life nine years ago. As part of the model search, Tia raised more than $1000 by selling fundraising chocolates and creating a Facebook sponsorship page.

“Mum had told me about the model search and that it raises vital money for the rescue helicopter and I just wanted to do it for her,” Tia said. “Because without them, my mum wouldn’t be here today.”

Melanie McGovern was airlifted from Glenden on October 29, 2007, suffering an extremely dangerous ectopic pregnancy. Melanie said she was incredibly proud her daughter had contributed to the impressive total raised and donated to RACQ CQ Rescue. After all, her story was the perfect example of how vital the rescue helicopter service was to the region, she said.

“It’s just so reassuring to have this kind of service available if you ever need it,” Melanie said.

“I still get goosebumps whenever I see the chopper flying overhead – it’s mixed feelings really. I’m glad they are here and available to help but it’s a reminder that there’s also someone, somewhere who really needs their assistance,” she said.

RACQ CQ Rescue CEO Martin Cleland congratulated all the model search entrants and Ms Thompson for their ongoing support of the Mackay-based rescue helicopter service.

“All the entrants and their families have worked incredibly hard fundraising for this event and to surpass last year’s impressive total is truly overwhelming and greatly appreciated,” Mr Cleland said.

“Congratulations to Brooke Thompson on another amazing event and of course, to the individual winners. But every entrant in this year’s model search has made a valuable contribution to this community and a huge difference to people in dire need of help in a time of crisis.”

More than 320 people attended the RACQ CQ Rescue Model Search gala presentation evening on June 4 at the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre.

Overall winners of the 2016 RACQ CQ Rescue Model Search were: