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.

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