By Mark Brassel
In the words of Kris Beavis, General Manager of Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter: “We were all up to our arms in mud and it was like a ray of sunshine had appeared.”
Mr Beavis [pictured left] was helping his Lismore community fight the recent widespread flooding of northern NSW when he received some welcome news amidst the bedlam: “I’ll never forget the moment.
“It was the Saturday and we were bang in the middle of trying to clean up the massive damage when one of the fellas yelled out that we had won the Editors’ Challenge with $5000 coming our way from TAB,” Mr Beavis recalled.
“It really did bring a smile to our faces and will be put to great use; it’s nice to be recognised by the community for the services we provide.”
Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter will be handed $5000 courtesy of TAB after the Grafton Examiner nominated it as its charity of choice in TAB’s 2017 Country Editors’ Challenge.
Newspaper editors were invited to ‘support their local horse’ leading up to last weekend’s Final on The Championships Day 1. TAB then got behind each region’s horse and editors were asked to nominate a charity with $5000 heading to the winner’s respective charity.
Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter had Free Standing running for them and the gelding didn’t disappoint, cruising away at big odds to claim the $400K Final, much to the delight of Mr Beavis and his dedicated team.
“The floods were freakish,” Mr Beavis explained. “Cyclone Debbie had been moving down the coast and a cold system headed upwards and they met. The damage this flooding did has been heartbreaking for so many, but everyone pitches in and does their bit; these catastrophes tend to bring out the very best in people.”
Racing NSW Chief Executive, Peter V'landys AM, said: “This is just the third year of the Country Championships and it has been a runaway success as has the Editors’ Challenge. Our heartfelt congratulations go out to Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, it is a charity that does remarkable work to help the community.”
TAB’s Head of Media Communications & Talent, Adam Hamilton, said: “The TAB Editors’ Challenge is a fantastic initiative that not only raises some funds for worthy causes, but also helps promote the Country and Provincial Championships. We are very proud to be involved and happy to donate $5000 to the winning charity of each Final as well as $500 to the other charities that participated.”
For further information listing all charities and newspapers, go to – TAB Editors' Challenge