1 August 2011

Kiwis give record amount to rescue choppers

This year’s Westpac Chopper Appeal has raised a record $1,656,858 for the country’s rescue helicopter services.

The funds are important for the ongoing operation of the rescue helicopter services and 100% of donations will be distributed back to the 16 rescue choppers across the country. This year’s total is an improvement on the previous best of $1.45m donated last year.

Westpac National Sponsorship Manager, Mark Graham, said the record amount was a pleasant surprise given the strong response by New Zealanders in donating to the recovery of quake hit Christchurch.

“More than 5,000 missions were undertaken by rescue choppers last year, many proving to be life changing or life saving for those being helped,” Mr. Graham said. “New Zealanders clearly respect and recognise the work that is done. These funds are a vital contribution to each of the helicopter trusts and will help them to continue to provide this incredible service in their community.”

Westpac employees were once again highly active in their communities and crucial to the success of this year’s appeal. The bank also used three new initiatives; Westpac ambassador Richie McCaw challenged school students around the country to raise money for their local rescue chopper service, four fundraising dinners were held and a special chopper ringtone generated more than 27,000 text responses.

“We would like to thank all those who donated and also thank Westpac employees across the country who once again pulled out all stops to raise money on a local level for their local chopper service,” Mr Graham said.

Donations are welcome throughout the year and can be made at www.chopperappeal.co.nz or any Westpac branch.