Graphic: Shane Radbone
Over 1200 staff of discount variety store chain Cheap as Chips will rally together – along with their customers – over the next three years to help keep the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) flying.
The Cheap as Chips workforce has nominated the RFDS as its new charity partner, which was officially announced at the partnership launch before staff of both organisations at the RFDS Adelaide Base.
As new members of the 'ground crew' of RFDS supporters, Cheap as Chips staff will raise vital funds in various ways ranging from personal donations via payroll deductions, in-store collections and product sales promotions, third-party community events such as the annual City-Bay Fun Run and corporate sponsorship to name a few.
Cheap as Chips staff – along with their mascot 'Mr Chip' – were on hand to step inside a RFDS 'flying intensive care unit' at the partnership launch, as well as hear from their Managing Director Shane Radbone (pictured).
"We are delighted as a proud South Australian company to sign a three-year agreement to financially support the life-saving work of RFDS operations in South Australia, Victoria and Broken Hill," Shane said.
"Our 1,200 staff voted on which charities they were passionate about. The RFDS was the preferred charity as part of the process and our staff are excited by the partnership," he said.
"Cheap as Chips has a large regional focus as a company – close to 65 per cent of our stores are located in regional South Australia and Victoria – so we understand the immense benefits that the RFDS brings to our rural and regional communities.
"Next year the RFDS will celebrate 90 years of serving the community, and Cheap as Chips management and staff look forward to making a significant contribution to the great work of the Flying Doctor," Shane said.
On a daily basis the RFDS performs over 100 aeromedical flights of the critically-ill or injured across the country – 15 of these in South Australia every day.
"The RFDS relies on bequests and donations from the community to meet the shortfall in its operational funding and to purchase and medically-equip its 'flying intensive care units' – at a cost of $7 million each," said Charlie Paterson, General Manager Marketing & PR, RFDS Central Operations.
"That's why community partnerships such as this with Cheap as Chips are so important to the RFDS – the work they do on the ground will help to keep our crews in the air for tens of thousands of patients we assist every year," Charlie said.