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Mid Canterbury fundraising event raises $78,500 for rooftop helipad

On Saturday 13 October 2018 over 180 guests attended Spring Indulgence, a charity event held in the EA Networks Marquee at Trott’s Garden, just outside of Ashburton. A total of $78,500 was raised during the night through the live and silent auctions, with the event well supported by a number of local sponsors including Ashburton Contractors Ltd (ACL).

Proceeds from Spring Indulgence will help to fund a future-proof rooftop helipad and clinical support unit at Christchurch Hospital.

“We are totally blown away by the generosity of this community. We are so proud to have pulled off an event that showcased Mid Canterbury at its best”, said Ange Leadley, spokesperson for Club Ninety Eight, who organised the event. 

In 2016 Māia Health Foundation committed to raising $2 million by December 2018 to obtain the enhancements to this much needed asset for Canterbury. After Spring Indulgence, the amount Māia still needs to reach their $2 million target is approximately $300,000.

Over $50,000 was raised from the silent and live auctions, and to kick start the night there was a generous donation of $10,000 from Midland Holdings. The 15 items auctioned on the night included an overnight helicopter adventure at Gawler Downs Station, and a night in their Air BnB with catering by Chantelle Quinn. This auction item raised $12,000 alone as two under bidders matched the winning bid, and Gawler Downs' Neroli and Harley Davies agreed to host four more people.

Guests were treated to a decadent four course meal of locavore seasonal produce with a menu curated by Chantelle Quinn’s Twenty Four Catering Co, and local vineyard CharRees provided a selection of varietals. Hamish Niles was an entertaining host of the evening, which included a showcase of amazing young talent from the area.

Kate Murney, her daughter Tara, and Dr David Bowie from CDHB's Intensive Care Unit talked about how the rooftop helipad will decrease the transfer time from the current helipad in Hagley Park to Christchurch Hospital’s ED; an average of 13 minutes. Kate’s emotional recall of her experience was a moving example of how the enhanced future proof helipad will make a real difference to the local community.

Garth Gallaway, the Chair of Māia Health Foundation said, “We’re simply amazed by the generosity of the people of Mid Canterbury. This community’s commitment to enhancing Canterbury’s health services is incredible and we’re very grateful for the support. The Club Ninety Eight committee did a sterling job in organising the event.” 

Christchurch Hospital is New Zealand’s busiest trauma centre and the only major hospital without a helipad on site. Currently it takes 13 minutes, on average, to transfer patients by ambulance to Christchurch Hospital after landing in Hagley Park. A larger helipad and purpose-built rooftop clinical support unit will mean critically unwell patients receive emergency hospital care immediately on touchdown, and a quicker transition to full care for routine transfers. For the Neonatal Unit, it will quicken the pickup and unloading of a neonatal incubator by up to an hour on a round trip.

Initial plans for the Acute Services Building included a rooftop helipad, however funding was allocated at a point when a smaller rooftop helipad was deemed sufficient. With the increased use of the air retrieval services by approximately 40% over the last three years, it became apparent that the region needed a larger helipad to cope with future demands. As funding was not available, Māia Health Foundation committed to raise $2 million by December 2018 to obtain these enhancements.

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