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$44,000 Lift For CareFlight Choppers

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Sgt Wayne Bushell, Jodi Durkin (RACQ CareFlight), Constable Samantha Giles and 2015-16 Kingaroy Rotary president Val Hooper with the cheque for just under $44,000

June 21, 2016

The “Sky’s The Limit” Charity Ball held at Kingaroy Town Hall last month raised an amazing $43,976.66 for the RACQ CareFlight helicopter rescue service.

The ball was organised by Kingaroy Rotary Club in conjunction with Kingaroy Police.

A cheque was presented to CareFlight representative Jodi Durkin at the Kingaroy Rotary Club’s changeover dinner held at SBcare in Kingaroy on Monday night.

“Wow, comes to mind,” Jodi said as she accepted the cheque from Constable Samantha Giles.

“Thank you to Kingaroy Rotary and Kingaroy Police for making it happen!”

Jodi said about 1500 missions were flown from CareFlight’s Sunshine Coast hangar every year, with many of these coming into the South Burnett.

She presented ‘thank you’ certificates, and a photo of one of CareFlight’s new AgustaWestland 139 twin-engine helicopters, to Rotary, Kingaroy Police, and chef Eddie McGregor who worked alongside Sergeant Wayne Bushell in the kitchen.

Sgt Bushell, who is also a  member of Rotary, was the driving force behind the fundraiser as well as one of the main chefs preparing the 350 or so meals at the ball.

Another highlight of Kingaroy Rotary’s changeover night was the  naming of five new Paul Harris Fellows, the highest honour that a Rotary Club can bestow on a member of the community.

It honours Rotary founder and Chicago lawyer Paul Harris who began the movement in 1905. Paul Harris Fellows must meet high professional and personal standards. The award is not limited to Rotarians.

The five new Fellows were:

  • Constable Samantha Giles, for her work helping to organise Rotary’s two very successful fundraising balls;
  • Eddie McGregor, for his work organising the two balls, and for his support of other local events including the White Ribbon Breakfast;
  • Marian Petersen, for her many years supporting the club, organising 17 Rambling Rotarian trips, and her involvement with the Go Getta Girls;
  • John Box, a stalwart of many local organisations for more than 40 years and a Life Member of Apex,  chairman of the Kingaroy Local Ambulance Committee and chairman of the South Burnett CTC management committee; and
  • Merv Wolski, who has worked tirelessly for Kingaroy Meals on Wheels since 1985, and a dedicated member of the Kingaroy Bowls Club for more than 30 years, especially as a bingo caller and volunteer gardener.

Guest speaker on the night was Past District Governor and District chairman of the Rotary Foundation, Eric Wood, who spoke about Rotary’s international project, “PolioPlus”, which aims to eradicate polio.

When Rotary began the campaign 30 years ago, 1000 children were diagnosed with polio every day throughout the world; so far in 2016 there have been only 17 children diagnosed – 11 in Pakistan and six in Afghanistan.

“We are THIS close to eliminating polio,” he said.

The evening concluded with the installation of the new Club president for 2016-17 and his incoming committee.

District 9600 Governor John Leddy presented the chains of office to Wayne Bushell, who then introduced his committee: Vice-President Val Hooper (the outgoing 2015-16 president), Secretary Kat Butcher, Treasurer Jeff Castledine and Directors Ray Pitt, Patrick Eeles, Neil Black and Alex Hall.

2015-16 club president Val Hooper and the oldest member of Kingaroy Rotary, Ray Black, centre, presented the Paul Harris Fellow awards to, from left, John Box, Merv Wolski, Eddie McGregor, Samantha Giles and Marian Petersen

Edna and John Bastable, from Kingaroy ... John is a previous Paul Harris Fellow

Another Paul Harris Fellow, club stalwart Lex Petersen and Cr Terry Fleischfresser

District Governor John Leddy with incoming Kingaroy Rotary Club President for 2016-17 Wayne Bushell

Wayne Bushell, right, introduces his committee for 2016-17, from left, Alex Hall, Neil Black, Patrick Eeles, Ray Pitt, Val Hooper and Kat Butcher

Relaxing at the top table ... Val and Lloyd Hooper, and Barbara and John Leddy; John is District Governor for Rotary District 9600


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One Response to $44,000 Lift For CareFlight Choppers

  1. John Box

    Congratulations Kingaroy Rotary. What an outstanding donation to such a very worthy organisation.