Axeman Nick Fredriksen, Cr Gavin Jones and RACQ LifeFlight Group Communications and Public Relations manager Ian Eckersley (Photo: RACQ LifeFlight)

December 4, 2017

The inaugural Maidenwell LifeFlight Fundraising weekend has been hailed a success by its organiser, South Burnett councillor Gavin Jones.

About $14,000 was raised for the helicopter rescue charity across the two-day mini-festival.

The weekend included woodchopping and post-ripping competitions plus a dinner and auction on Saturday night.

Cr Jones said he would like to see the weekend become an annual event.

Action from the post-ripping competition on the Maidenwell Sports Ground (Photo: RACQ LifeFlight)

More than 160 people attended the dinner and another 150 attended the two-day woodchopping and post-ripping competition at the Maidenwell Sports Ground.

One of the axemen in action was Nick Fredriksen, from Kilcoy, who is Australia’s only one-arm competitive wood chopper.

Nick was airlifted by RACQ LifeFlight Rescue more than 20 years ago after being involved in a serious farm accident.

He needed a second aeromedical lift in 2003 after he had another accident, crashing through glass louvres.

“It was great to receive such fantastic and enthusiastic local support for LifeFlight and it was terrific to see over 30 wood chop and chainsaw racing competitors come to Maidenwell for competition,” Nick said.

“LifeFlight is a critical and necessary lifesaving service for all of Queensland, and especially in the South Burnett region.

“While I have used them twice, I know many other people in the area who have also had their life saved by the RACQ LifeFlight rescue helicopter crews.”

Bidding at the Saturday night charity auction (Photo: RACQ LifeFlight)

Cr Jones said the auction at the Saturday night dinner attracted a lot of donated items including sporting memorabilia with spirited bidding ensuring the fundraising night was off to a great start.

“We’ve had so much community support for this event and local business got right behind it with our major sponsor Stanwell Corporation giving us a real boost,” Cr Jones said.

“There were so many people here who had a LifeFlight story to tell, whether they had personally been airlifted like Nick Fredriksen or had a family member or friend who had been rescued at some stage over the last 36 years.

“We know what a great cause it is and it’s just astounding to know that there were 293 people airlifted from the South Burnett region last financial year.

“That’s why we’d like to get behind this and make it an annual event that will hopefully get bigger and better each year.”

LifeFlight Community Fundraising Manager Jodi Durkin thanked the Maidenwell community and the South Burnett region for getting behind the first event.

“All of the proceeds from the weekend event will make such a difference and will have a direct lifesaving benefit over the busy summer period where our crews are ready to fly 24/7, every day of the year,” she said.

“Nick Fredriksen has been such a great supporter of LifeFlight this year and his enthusiasm and energy has been infectious.

“He has been a real boost for his fantastic fundraising work for LifeFlight.”

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Raw Video by RACQ LifeFlight

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