It’s official – last week’s RACQ CareFlight Rescue Gala Ball has raised a record-breaking $140,000 for the region’s dedicated aeromedical helicopter.
It’s the largest profit the annual fundraising event has returned during its nine year history.
Friday night’s event saw more than 550 guests turn out in their top hats and tiaras to enjoy “A Night of Royal Indulgence” at Novotel Twin Waters and it certainly was an evening fit for a king or queen.
With lavish food and plenty of laughs, guests were entertained by award winning actor, Gerry Connolly and his Queen Elizabeth II impersonation.
More than $12,000 in raffle prizes including a royal retreat to London and local getaways to Fraser Island and Palmer Coolum Resort were won, with many guests also taking home the spoils from both the silent and live auctions. The live auction alone raised in excess of $59,000 for the not-for-profit Service.
But the real prize of the night was witnessing five year old Patrick O’Sullivan bound onto the stage to surprise guests with proof of his miraculous recovery. In May this year the prep student was thrown from a ride at a school fete near Toowoomba.
He suffered severe head injuries and his prognosis was poor. Patrick was airlifted to the Mater Children’s Hospital in a critical condition by the Sunshine Coast’s helicopter crew. But beating all odds, he is already back at school living a normal, happy and healthy life.
Patrick shares his story of strength with the Sunshine Coast Helicopter Rescue Service which has also moved ahead in leaps and bounds this financial year, welcoming new naming rights sponsor RACQ on board and merging with another of the great helicopter ‘empires’ to become CareFlight Group Queensland.
RACQ CareFlight Deputy Chairman, Don Moffatt thanked all sponsors and the local community for their ongoing support which ensured the event’s biggest success to date.
“It turned out to be a great night for an even greater cause,” Mr Moffatt said.
“The funds raised will help keep us in the air so our crews can continue doing what they do best, saving lives.”