$25,000 raised with the help of Elders Eyre Peninsula for RFDS

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Port Lincoln Auxiliary, together with the Eyre Peninsula community have rallied together raising another $50,000, with half of the funds contributed by Tunarama Ambassador, Heather Channon – backed by Elders Port Lincoln and Eyre Peninsula.

Elders Port Lincoln and Eyre Peninsula supported Ms Channon as her major sponsor and provided assistance for fundraising initiatives, as well as funding the entry for the Tunarama Quest.

From the support provided by Elders, Ms Channon was able to form a fundraising committee, incorporating friends, Elders employees and members of the RFDS Port Lincoln Auxiliary. The committee planned events, fundraisers and volunteered their time.

Elders Eyre Peninsula rural real estate sales specialist, Darryn Johnson attended every event, often cooking the barbeque and dedicating time to work on the Elders float for the Tunarama parade which featured a rural background with a replica RFDS plane taking off from an airstrip.

“We have a close connection with the RFDS here and we are excited to have supported Heather to achieve such a fantastic fundraising result. It has brought our branches closer together while we worked as a team and with the local community,” Mr Johnson said.

Since it began operations with a single leased aircraft in 1928, the RFDS has grown to become the largest and most comprehensive aeromedical organisation in the world, assisting more than 283,000 people around Australia during 2015/16.

“The RFDS flies into Port Lincoln nearly every day of the year and conducts more than 15 aeromedical evacuations throughout SA every week,” RFDS Port Lincoln Auxiliary President, Bill Whitbread, says.

“Every week of the year the RFDS flies in to locations on the Eyre Peninsula to take patients for urgent medical care at major hospitals in Adelaide or back home to continue their recovery in a local hospital.”

Mr Whitbread said the vital work of the RFDS in providing aeromedical and primary health care services to rural and remote South Australia requires continuing support from the community.

“Just over half of the latest $50,000 donation was raised by Tunarama Ambassador Miss Elders, Heather Channon, which was a fantastic effort and greatly appreciated by the RFDS,” Mr Whitbread says.

Maggie Kavanagh, Elders Port Lincoln’s sales support officer, assisted Ms Channon with marketing materials, including posters, signs and pricelists and says she loved getting involved in the different fundraising activities for such a great cause.

“One of our major events was the Family Fun Day on the Port Lincoln foreshore, which gained a huge amount of attention with affordable family activities and market stall holders,” she explained.

The Auxiliary handed over the $50,000 cheque to RFDS Central Operations Fundraising Manager, Anthea Rice, who congratulated the Auxiliary for their work in raising awareness of the RFDS throughout the Eyre Peninsula community.

“The dedication and hard work of our Port Lincoln Auxiliary and the generosity of the Eyre Peninsula community has resulted in this fantastic fundraising amount which will go towards the replacement of aeromedically-equipped aircraft at a cost of more than $7 million each,” Ms Rice
says.

“We thank our dedicated volunteers from the bottom of our hearts for the incredibly important work they do in Port Lincoln in championing the RFDS and generating community support for the RFDS.”

“On behalf of the thousands of South Australians the RFDS will assist this year, thank you to the Eyre Peninsula community for your continued support in keeping the Flying Doctor flying,” Ms Rice says.