Going the distance for charity
One man has taken on a fundraising mission to stack up 50 kilometres a day on his mountain bike to help give a lift to the rescue helicopter service.
The challenge has teams of Westpac employees banding together to share 50km a day for the month of May, pedalling to fundraise for the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter.
Westpac financial adviser Jason Craig is going solo, riding an average of 50km every day in May.
Craig would have stacked up 1550kms by the end of the month, just 50km shy of the length of New Zealand.
He said he would like to do the whole 1600km.
‘‘Seems ridiculous if you’re going to do it and don’t quite go the full distance.’’
Most afternoons, Craig mounts his trusted bike, leaves his home in Richmond and heads ‘‘wherever I feel like going’’.
‘‘It’s more in relation to which direction the wind’s blowing from. I want a tail wind home.’’
His circuits include Rabbit Island, Waimea West, Bridge Valley, Mount Heslington, Wakefield and Spooner Range; anywhere, he says, that’s ‘‘flat and easy’’.
Every May Westpac branches all over the country fundraise for their region’s rescue chopper.
Craig said he hoped to raise as much money and awareness as possible for the local service.
‘‘It’s really around people just valuing what the rescue chopper does, and the fact that it’s there. It’s a fantastic asset to the Tasman region ... we need it.
‘‘We’re fortunate enough to live in an area where there’s a lot of the great outdoors.
‘‘It would be incredibly sad if you we lost a service like the rescue chopper.’’
Each year the rescue helicopter assists in more than 500 missions a year including medical emergencies, search and rescue, and motor vehicle accidents.
Every individual in the Westpac teams donates $50 to the Westpac Team Tasman Chopper Appeal Challenge Givealittle page to be part of the mission while also going out getting sponsorship as well.
Craig said it was a good way to encourage team building and exercise for health and well-being.
Most of us sit down all day, he said.
To donate to the 50km a day challenge, visit https://givealittle.co.nz/ fundraiser/westpac-team-tasmanchopper-appeal-challenge#
Westpac employees line up for one of their 50km rides to raise money for the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter.