On the bright spring Saturday morning of the 24th October, the inaugural ‘Show Your Colours for the Chopper’ event in Tamworth was held at the AELEC. This 5km colour fun run was held to raise much needed funds for the local rescue helicopter service.

The rescue helicopters are based at Tamworth Airport, servicing more than 600,000 people that live within the 165,000 square kilometre region of NSW that is covered. This operational area includes the major centres of Tamworth, Armidale, Gunnedah, Quirindi, Narrabri and Moree. The Service owns and operates 2 x BK117 aero-medical helicopters, which each cost approximately $3,000 per hour to run.

Each year the helicopters in the New England North West region fly more than 250 lifesaving missions. This free of charge service is provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to anyone in need.

Approximately 2000 people turned out to support the Chopper

The yearly budget for the helicopter service in the region is $3.4 million, of which around 50% is funded; leaving $1.7 million to be raised from sponsorships and fundraising.

The colour! The Course

So the colour run was coined, and over 2000 participants came to enjoy the day, get coated in colour and support the chopper. The local RRT was there supporting the event, providing ice cold bottles of water to all colour runners when they finished the 5km course. They also provided a sausage sizzle which raised additional funds for the rescue service. Several RRT members have experienced first-hand the lifesaving service provided by the rescue helicopters, so it was a great privilege to be able to assist them like this.

There were different colour zones around the track Hundreds of water bottles were handed out Even the RRT Servers finished up more colourful than when they arrived!

The day was a roaring success – nobody escaped without a good dose of various colours! The funds raised were greatly appreciated by the rescue service and will help them continue their priceless service.

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