COMMUNITY RECOGNITION STATEMENT - Ultra for Everyone: Westpac Rescue Helicopter Fundraiser

Ms JENNY AITCHISON (Maitland)—COVID-19 has taken its toll on our communities in myriad ways, and traditional fundraising activities, such as charity balls, have been curtailed. To address this, the Hunter Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service is running a virtual event called the AW139 Ultra for Everyone. People can take on a range of challenges to raise their fitness while raising funds.

Two East Maitland men – Rod Marshdale and Scott Ellis, are among those who have accepted the challenge. Rod, who was born with cystic fibrosis, says he owes his life to the chopper, which flew him to the John Hunter Hospital for a life-saving double lung transplant in 2015.

Rod knows that flight cost about $3500. He's determined to raise double that sum – one to cover his own flight, and one for another person. Scott, who owns Ted's Bike Shop at East Maitland, is undertaking the cycling challenge. He says that if he raises more than $5000 he'll ride an extra 139 kilometres on a penny farthing.

With contributions such as Rod's and Scott's, it is hoped the AW139 Ultra for Everyone will raise more than $40,000.