Walkerston State School Prep student Miley Weller knows small change can make a very big difference. That’s why she’s so proud her school has jumped aboard to fundraise during Rescue Chopper Week this month.
From October 17 to 23, schools and businesses across the district will celebrate and put the ‘fun’ back into fundraising by holding free dress days, crazy hair days, sausage sizzles and morning teas to create a sea of yellow and blue and help raise vital, life-saving funds for RACQ CQ Rescue.
Miley and her family know first-hand the value of this life-saving service. Her mum Cara Weller was airlifted 16 years ago by the RACQ CQ Rescue after she fractured her back jumping at Cedar Creek Falls, near Airlie Beach, during Schoolies Week in 2000.
“Rescue Chopper Week is great fun for kids and adults and is another way we as a community can say thank you and express our gratitude for the amazing job this organisation does, day in day out,” Mrs Weller said.
Walkerston State School P & C President Toni-Maree Dodd said the school was excited to support the Mackay-based rescue helicopter which was a vital lifeline to the community 24/7, 365 days a year.
“The kids are all very excited to dress up in the chopper’s blue and yellow colours on Wednesday the 18th to show our support for the service,” she said.
“Our students often see the helicopter flying about overhead and know about the valuable job the crew do,” Mrs Dodd said. “It’s important for them to realise what we raise through a gold coin donation on our free dress day can mean a lot to someone else in their time of need.”
RACQ CQ Rescue Fundraising Co-ordinator Courtney Hansen said it was vital local businesses, schools and community groups showed their support for Rescue Chopper Week to ensure the service could continue to fly to the rescue of those in dire need.
“Fundraising during that week could be as simple as hosting a morning tea, a sausage sizzle, a crazy hair day or free dress day or simply dressing up your workplace in blue and yellow to show our community-funded service your support,” Ms Hansen said.
Every school which registered to hold a fundraiser during Rescue Chopper Week would go into the draw to win the rescue helicopter landing on their school oval and a talk by the aircrew, plus students could also win great prizes including tablets and phones courtesy of Telstra by participating in colouring in and short story writing competitions.
Businesses who registered to participate in Rescue Chopper Week could win a $250 Caneland Central voucher, Ms Hansen said.
“While there is nothing fun about being sick or injured, those generous groups who register today to participate in Rescue Chopper Week are helping us make raising money and awareness a really fun and fulfilling activity,” Ms Hansen said.
“The RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter and crew conduct more than 500 missions each year. The outcome for many patients, often children, would be dire without the services of this rescue helicopter across our region,” she said.
Rescue Chopper Week would culminate on Saturday, October 23 with the Rescue Helicopter Bakers and Makers Market, a fantastic event showcasing local handmade produce and goods, at the St Patrick’s Hall from 9 am to 1.30 pm.
RACQ CQ Rescue has completed more than 7100 missions in its 20-year history. It provides a vital service to the community and is a lifeline in a time of crisis such as severe injury or acute medical conditions, accident or search and rescue missions.
Operational costs for RACQ CQ Rescue in 2016 will amount to $8.3 million and schools, community organisations and groups are encouraged to lend a helping hand during Rescue Chopper Week to ensure the services reach its fundraising target.
“We urge all schools and businesses to rise to the challenge and please show your support during Rescue Chopper Week and help us keep flying to the rescue and saving hundreds of lives every year,” Ms Hansen said.
To register to participate for Rescue Chopper Week and help raise funds for our region’s rescue helicopter, visit www.cqrescue.org.au/rescuechopperweek.