So as some of you may know, my "real" job (the one that pays the bills and supports the family) is at the bank. Not super glamorous however the bank I work for does sponsor the New Zealand Rescue Helicopters. The guys that run and fly these are awesome, if you're not from NZ or have never been here you may not realise how rough and wild (and beautiful) our natural landscape actually is. Lots of people under assume and get stuck in some pretty sticky situations. The rescue helicopter will fly pretty much anywhere it can and get these people out, usually via stretchers dangling over insane mountain sides and cliffs etc.
So I personally have had a lot to do with the fundraising for the Chopper Appeal over the last couple of years and since moving to Auckland in July, I've had the opportunity to work with Duncan from the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust and Balmoral School. Duncan runs the Chopper Challenge every year with different schools. Basically the kids all fundraise by getting their friends and family to sponsor them for the set of "challenges" that Duncan gives them. He goes out to the school once a fortnight for 8 weeks and runs fitness days, the kids have to run drills, work together doing stretcher lifts and learn all about strength and physical fitness, something that the Rescue Helicopter pilots and crewmen need to be on top of. The kids that earn the most then get the chance to go for a ride in the helicopter that picks them up and drops them off from the school field. This year Balmoral School raised almost $6000 for the Chopper Trust and 20 kids got to go up in the chopper. I can tell you they were super pumped, four teachers also got chosen and believe me they were just as excited as the kids!
If you would like to learn more about the Chopper Trust and donate, check out the sites;
Huge thanks to Duncan and Herby from the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust as well as Malcom and the teachers at Balmoral School.