Betty jumps at the chance to help out

The Leader (Tasman) - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - TIM O'CON­NELL

A Nel­son oc­to­ge­nar­ian is tak­ing her sup­port for a lo­cal char­ity sky-high, so long as the price is right.

Betty Van Rooyen has ded­i­cated the last 15 years of her life to vol­un­teer­ing for com­mu­nity pa­trols and more re­cently for the Nel­son Cancer So­ci­ety.

‘‘When I re­tired I wanted to do some­thing use­ful and this, to me, is the most worth­while cause,’’ she said.

‘‘I don't feel the need to jump out of a plane – I'm only do­ing it to raise funds – I cer­tainly wouldn't be do­ing it for my­self.’’

Betty Van Rooyen

‘‘[Cancer]’s such an evil thing and I want to help peo­ple get through it – it’s a hor­ri­ble dis­ease, but there is a lot of hope for peo­ple, that’s the good news.’’

How­ever, Van Rooyen’s will­ing­ness to help others was put to the test re­cently when she was ap­proached by Cancer So­ci­ety Nel­son man­ager Michelle Hunt to be one of a select few to sky­dive as a fundrais­ing

‘‘I don’t feel the need to jump out of a plane – I’m only do­ing it to raise funds – I cer­tainly wouldn’t be do­ing it for my­self,’’ Van Rooyen said.

‘‘It wasn’t a shoul­der-tap, it was more a twist­ing of the wrist – she can be a very per­sua­sive lady.’’

While the 80-year-old has pre­vi­ously tried glid­ing, bal­loon­ing and flown in a Tiger Moth, this will be her first time hav­ing a got at parachut­ing.

‘‘I’ve al­ways stayed in the plane – the sen­si­ble thing.’’

Be­fore the jump can take place at Motueka Aero­drome, Van Rooyen must raise $1000.

She is hop­ing to gain some sup­port for her cause at the Trade Cen­tral Cancer So­ci­ety An­nual Char­ity Ball and din­ner this week­end and through a Face­book page.

‘‘I haven’t got that in my back pocket - it’s all depend­ing on the gen­eros­ity of others,’’ she said.

Any one want­ing to help Betty reach her tar­get can visit http:/ /www.ev­ery­day­hero.co.nz/event/ Jump­forCancerNel­son.

Also there will be a bucket to ‘‘Help Betty jump’’ at the re­cep­tion desk at the Cancer So­ci­ety of­fice at 102 Hardy St.

PHOTO: BRADEN FASTIER/ FAIR­FAX NZ

Eighty-year-old Betty van

Rooyen is go­ing sky div­ing for the first time in her life for char­ity.

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