It takes a lot to impress men who save lives for a living.
But the kids at Point View School have done just that through a year long partnership with the Auckland Westpac Helicopter Trust.
The children hope to raise well over $10,000 for the trust and gained an indepth knowledge about the Westpac helicopter.
The students have visited the hangar, had helicopter flight-simulator training, participated in the chopper challenge and had first aid training.
Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust fundraising and marketing manager John Hooper says the switched on Point View students have exceeded their expectations.
"Those kids out there are really quite remarkable," he says.
"They actually want to know how they fly, they want to know what underpins an organisation such as ours, through to what opportunities exist in the aero-medical field."
The trust already has brief connections with schools through the chopper challenges but the Point View partnership is the first of its kind and has taken it to another level, Mr Hooper says.
"We can see some real benefits from not only the kids' perspective and the school but also from the trust.
"At this stage we would love to roll out a Point View concept into numerous other schools in the coming months and years," Mr Hooper says.
The trust does not have the resources to do that but the partnership has given it a template for the future.
Point View School teacher Claire Galvin says the alliance has given the students a real sense of achievement.
"We are looking at what 9 or 10-year-olds can do to make a difference," she says.
"And they know they have done that with the rescue helicopter."
Gabriel Brougham, 11, says it has been a "real treat" to learn what fuels an organisation like the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust.
"They're pilots, they're crewmen, they're doctors, and they've all shared their story and what they do with us."
The young student says the connection to the chopper has made the school work harder to raise funds for the life-saving organisation.
The hallmark moment for Gabriel and his peers has been knowing they have "helped save lives".
As the school year comes to a close so does the year-long collaboration, and the partnership will be flown out in style with the school's Big Night Out gala.
It is the school's last push at raising money for the service, which is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Having already raised more than $7000 in the chopper challenge, the school's fundraising efforts will be greatly appreciated over the Westpac helicopter's busy summer months.
The Big Night Out gala is at Point View School on November 29 from 5.30pm till 8pm and all are welcome.
- Eastern Courier
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