Lions join rescue chopper

IN CONTROL: Roman Wijeyekoon, 3, of Lismore checks out the cockpit of the Westpac helicopter at their open day.
IN CONTROL: Roman Wijeyekoon, 3, of Lismore checks out the cockpit of the Westpac helicopter at their open day. Doug Eaton

AN exciting new partnership between two community organisations - the Lions and the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter has been unveiled over the weekend.

At the Westpac Heli- copter's Open Day on Sat- urday, the $35,000 per year community partnership between the helicopter service and Lions Northern NSW was officially announced, to the pleasure of both parties.

Lions Northern NSW takes in the two Lions Districts of Q1 and N1, which hold 22 clubs and 16 clubs respectively.

Director of the Westpac board, Paul Muldoon, said it was a very exciting occasion for the helicopter service.

With their annual costs at more than $7 million and rising, community support is very important to them, he said.

Mr Muldoon said he was very thankful for the partnership and said it was a great indication of the ongoing support they receive from the community.

The partnership will see the Lions Clubs logo appear on the service's two aircraft and at the Lismore Helibase.

Immediate Past District Governor of Lions Q1, Merv Ferguson, said he was equally excited about the "wonderful agreement".

Mr Ferguson said the Lions were absolutely delighted to be involved.

"Lions are pleased to be involved with the Westpac Chopper because this is what Lions do; we assist organisations that assist others and what better way to do this than join with one that saves lives," he said.

Lions clubs have been donating to the helicopter service regularly for 5 or 6 years now, Mr Ferguson said, so making it an official partnership was just the next step and "a long time coming".

Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter fundraising manger Zeke Huish said he wished to sincerely thank the Lions Club members for their time and effort in raising funds to support the service.

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