John ‘Shippa’ Hoye unexpectedly needed the help of the Life Saver Rescue Helicopter recently whilst in the process of organising a fundraiser for them.
John ‘Shippa’ Hoye unexpectedly needed the help of the Life Saver Rescue Helicopter recently whilst in the process of organising a fundraiser for them.

HOG reunion has plenty of heart

Two weeks ago John ‘Shippa’ Hoye was busy planning a fundraiser for the Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, never thinking he would very soon need its help.

On Thursday, November 19, Shippa had a heart attack while working at Jiggi Public School. He was rushed by the builder he was working for to Lismore Base Hospital and was then airlifted by the Life Saver Rescue Helicopter to Brisbane for emergency surgery.

Shippa didn’t know it at the time, but he was to become part of an historic mission – the Life Saver Rescue Helicopter’s 6000th.

Exactly one week after having a stent inserted in his heart Shippa walked into the Lismore Helibase to thank the rescue crew – but that wasn’t the only reason for his visit. He was also there to hand over a $1000 donation that his motorcycle club, the Northern NSW Harley Owners Group, raised from a recent poker run.

Looking a picture of health compared to a week earlier, Shippa said he would be off work for the next few months but would continue to help organise the helicopter fundraiser.

That fundraiser involves a function at the Ballina RSL Bowling Club this Saturday, December 5, when the Northern NSW Harley Owners Group holds its 20-year reunion celebration in which Shippa is hoping all past and present members will attend.

The Northern NSW Chapter is the second oldest Harley Owners Group (HOG) in NSW and the first outside of the Sydney metropolitan region. Saturday night’s reunion takes the form of a dinner dance and Christmas party with a charity fundraiser for the Rescue Helicopter.

Tickets are $30 per person. For bookings and information about the reunion, phone Shippa on 6624 1862 or 0439 709 809.


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