TIL helps give St John funds a lift
Two retired firefighters got a boost from a pair of truckers at Hooker Pacific Transport yesterday - in the form of a lift and a $10,000 cheque.
St John Waimarino chairman Ben Goddard and team commander Alan Murdie, both long-serving fire service volunteers in Raetihi before their St John days, were in Wanganui to collect the proceeds from two "Ride in a Truck Day" events.
The events in Wanganui and Raetihi were organised by the local branch of the Road Transport Association to raise funds for community groups.
Blaine Prichard, Hooker Pacific's Wanganui Branch Manager, said this year the funds were going towards a much-needed health shuttle bus for Waimarino St John.
"We had a lot of bums on seats at both events - eight trucks and around 2000 passengers paying $2 a ride, so it was a good effort.
"The contributions from sponsors were fantastic and we surpassed the $8000 we raised in 2012."
Mr Goddard said it was a wonderful partnership between industry and the community, which helped to raise funds as well as awareness. "People might get annoyed with these big trucks on our roads but they bring a lot of prosperity to the region, and it was great to see people wanting to ride in them.
"It's funny to see the adults who have brought their children along hanging back, and then they couldn't resist getting on and having a ride themselves."
Mr Pritchard said it was good for the public to get a different perspective on life on the road.
"We're up very high and people who had never been in a big truck really enjoyed the view."
The St John Waimarino health shuttle travels more than 35,000km each year taking people to appointments at Whanganui and Palmerston North hospitals.
Mr Murdie said the shuttle service was vital for the region as many people had no other way to access essential health services.
The events were sponsored by: McDonald Equipment BP Fuel, Bridgestone Tyres TRT, ASB Commercial Bank, TR Group, Mad Butcher Wanganui, Motor Trucks Mack, Hino Trucks, GE Finance, Caltex, Z Fuel, AFFCO, Land Meats, Silver Fern Farms, Goodman Fielder, More FM, Peak FM, Ruapehu Bulletin, Hire Master, Blackwoods Protector Safety, Kenworth Trucks, Cohens Business Centre, Berdeck Village, Swart Tyres, St Johns Club, AMF Boats, Fitzies Bakery, Marty McGrath, Ohakune Engineering, Emmett Truck Services, Sewell & Wilson Accountants, Doyle & Associates Accountants, Moore Stephens Markhams Accountants, UDC Finance, NZ Police, NZ Fire Service, Penske Commercial Westernstar, MAN Trucks, Raetihi Squash, R.A.L and the Wanganui Chronicle and Mid Week.
See another article leading up to the event here - http://www.nzherald.co.nz/wanganui-chronicle/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503426&objectid=11365756
Story by Liz Wylie @ the Wanganui Chronicle