Naracoorte volunteers donate $100,000 to RFDS!

A committed group of Naracoorte volunteers has presented a $100,000 donation to the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).

The RFDS Naracoorte & District Support Group’s annual donation – which includes $35,000 raised by the Westbound Wanderers car run – takes the group’s total contribution to the life-saving service to more than $900,000 since its formation in 1995.

“The RFDS lands twice a week in Naracoorte to airlift a patient to Adelaide for life-saving surgery or specialist medical treatment,” Mark Wellington, President of the RFDS Naracoorte & District Support Group said.

“Everyone in the area knows somebody who has been flown by the RFDS – it’s such a vital service and you never know when it might be you or a loved one who will need the Flying Doctor,” Mr Wellington continued.

“I’d like to thank each and every member of the RFDS Naracoorte & District Support Group – all of whom volunteers – and our local community for their generous donations and unwavering support of our fundraising efforts throughout the year.”

Mr Wellington presented the cheque for $100,000 to Lindy Allchurch, RFDS Central Operations Volunteer Coordinator, at the group’s AGM on Tuesday 14 August.

It was an excellent turnout at the AGM, with 22 members convening at the Kincraig Hotel to thank committee members and supporters.

Mr Wellington thanked his family for their understanding, and also thanked the following office bearers for their outstanding work: Jenny Brammer (Secretary), Ann Sykes (Treasurer), Bev Taylor (Catering Convenor), Coralie Allchurch (Publicity Officer), Gwen Hannaford (Souvenirs) and Daryl Smith (Auditor). 

Major donors to the group are Teys Australia; the Southern Grassfed Carcase Classic; Colin Layzell and the Westbound Wanderers; Pinkerton Palm Hamlyn and Steen (hosts of the Lamb Drive); Naracoorte Golf Club (hosts of the Tradie’s Day); Lorna and Art Hopper; and duck shooters.

Other fundraising events conducted by members were the Country Music Night by Wendy Alcock and committee, Clearing Sales by Bev Taylor and helpers, dinners, wood raffles, and volunteering at the charity shop. 

The Naracoorte Primary School, who raised money for the RFDS with a dress up day back in April, also presented a check to Ms Allchurch on Monday 20 August.

The donation from Naracoorte Primary School will be going to the branch in the next financial year, but as Ms Allchurch explained, every coin from the community counts.

“The commitment and dedication of the RFDS Naracoorte & District Support Group – matched by the generosity of the local community – will help us continue to save lives, when and where it is needed most,” Ms Allchurch said.

“The RFDS has been saving lives for 90 years. Today, RFDS crews perform 15 aeromedical evacuations throughout South Australia every day – and night – of the year,” she said.

Ms Allchurch said the group’s donation will directly benefit the RFDS capital-raising program for the replacement of RFDS ‘flying intensive care units’ – at a cost of more than $7 million each.

“On behalf of everyone at RFDS – and the thousands of South Australians we airlift every year – we offer our heartfelt thanks for your hard work and service to your local community,” Ms Allchurch said.

Ms Allchurch added that enquiries to get involved in volunteering to help the RFDS were always welcome.