A dedicated group of local volunteers has presented a $23,000 donation to the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), representing their fundraising efforts with the support of the Whyalla community over the past year.
“The RFDS lands in Whyalla every day to airlift patients to Adelaide for life-saving surgery or specialist medical treatment,” says Frank Curtis, President of the RFDS Whyalla Support Group.
“Those of us living in the country are all too familiar with the tyranny of distance and the importance of access to specialist care in times of medical emergency,” Mr Curtis says.
“The RFDS provides this vital access, not to just for those of us living in Whyalla, but to more than 15 South Australians every day – in the outback, from the regions and in the city alike,” he says.
Since last year’s donation the RFDS has introduced to operational service the RFDS Medi-Jet 24, South Australia’s first purpose-built aeromedical jet. The $13 million aircraft was funded solely by bequests, sponsorships and donations from the community.
“We feel very humbled to have played our part with others in raising the funds for the RFDS to purchase the ultimate ‘flying intensive care unit’, capable of slashing total mission times of long-haul patient evacuations from the outback or interstate to specialist medical care,” Mr Curtis says.
“I extend my sincere thanks to every member of the RFDS Whyalla Support Group for their hard work and commitment, and to our local community for their on-going support of our fundraising activities. So much can be achieved when people work together for a common goal,” he says.
Mr Curtis presented the $23,000 donation to Lindy Allchurch, Volunteer Coordinator of RFDS Central Operations, at the group’s AGM on Monday 1 July.
“This year’s donation takes the group’s total contribution to the Flying Doctor to $338,000 since it began fundraising 11 years ago, which is a remarkable achievement,” Ms Allchurch says.
“The latest donation, like those before, will be used to help meet the shortfall in our operational funding and to finance our capital-raising program for the purchase of our ‘flying intensive care units’ – the next to arrive late this year,” Ms Allchurch says.
“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.
Enquiries to get involved with the RFDS Whyalla Support Group are always welcome.
Contact Whyalla Support Group President, Frank Curtis, on 0414 273 373.