Digging deep for rescue chopper

HAPPY HOST: Rachael Beck performing at the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter gala fundraising ball.
HAPPY HOST: Rachael Beck performing at the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter gala fundraising ball. Brendan Ray

PARTY-goers dug deep and let their hair down in fine style on Saturday night and, even better, it was for a fantastic cause.

An estimated 200 immaculately dressed fundraisers descended on the C.ex Coffs auditorium for the annual Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Charity Ball.

This year’s theme was the Golden Hearts Gala Ball, chosen to symbolise the kindness of the community in supporting their local rescue helicopter.

Once again they gave handsomely to the helicopter service, so much so the organisers were still counting the money and won’t have a final figure until later this week.

“It was a fantastic night out,” helicopter media spokesman Graham Orams said.

“There was a terrific turnout and the atmosphere was electric.

“The crowd was very generous with the silent and live auctions we had and we just can’t thank the Coffs Coast community enough for their support.”

Mr Orams said rugby league celebrity Eric Grothe and his band The Gurus proved a big hit with the crowd, as did MC Rachael Beck of Hey Dad! fame, who sang a few tunes as well.

The guest speaker was inspirational cancer survivor Michael Crossland, who had the crowd in awe as he spoke about his battles and his need for the rescue chopper during his treatment.

As well as helping to raise money to keep the rescue helicopter in the air, the ball was the perfect chance to bring together helicopter staff, including pilots and crew, and the Coffs Coast community.

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