St John close to new station goal
Riversdale St John is close to its $150,000 fundraising target for a new ambulance station - and it may be able to call in the builders sooner rather than later.
The organisation’s coffers were given a welcome boost thanks to the town’s farming community this week when it received a big cheque which came thanks largely to the area’s rural community and local businesses.
The organisation received a $20,000 donation from the Riversdale Recreation and Reserves Committee this week - bringing the total raised for the new building to $120,000.
The donation came from proceeds of the RRRC’s Prime Lamb and Calf competition, chairman Struan McCrostie said.
‘‘It’s all donated by local farmers and businesses. We give 50 per cent to a local charity and 50 per cent to Riversdale School.
‘‘St John’s play a very big part in our community and their service is vital so we’re very happy to make this donation to help them.’’
Riversdale St John first responder Dave Hurley said the donation left the organisation just $30,000 off it’s target, but it may have enough money in the bank for the project anyway.
‘‘We’re waiting for word from higher up [in the organisation] about whether we replace the existing building or build onto the fire station and share facilities.
‘‘If we build on next door then we’ve already got enough in the bank, so it’s just a waiting game now.’’
And if it’s decided they rebuild, the fundraising target isn’t too far off being reached.
‘‘We’ve got 40 calves out grazing with local farmers at the moment so we’ve got that to come in.
‘‘We’d just like to thank Riversdale and people around the area who have supported us with things like buying firewood, which bought in $5000, and War on the Waimea which made $40,000.
‘‘It’s been a great effort.
Riversdale’s first responders attend about 140 callouts a year.
The existing ambulance station, which dates from 1965, was given a short life span after the Christchurch earthquakes in 2011, when St John assessed its buildings for earthquake safety nationwide.
A new station has already been built in Gore. community
Julie and Daryl Thomas will open their Wreys Bush cottage garden for the tour.