After two years of fundraising the pupils of Brethren area school Westmount School in Hawera have gone a long way to keep Taranaki's rescue helicopter flying.
On Friday, the Taranaki community rescue helicopter landed on the soccer field of the 132-pupil private school to collect two cheques totalling $15,000.
The helicopter's trust has announced it is in financial strife and needs to secure about $400,000 to avoid having to wind up by the end of this year.
The school's student council spent two years raising $5000 for the trust, while Westmount's community, which is spread from Whanganui to New Plymouth, also brought in $10,000.
School chief executive Walter Broomhall said the two donations were to thank the helicopter crew for all their work in preserving "the value of human life in the community".
Crew chief Jayden Strickland said it was very generous.
"The magic number is $400,000 and $15,000 goes a long way."
A meeting was held last week to discuss the the helicopter trust's financial situation.
Mr Strickland said the interview process had started to replace pilots Sam Richmond and Fergus MacLachlan, who have both resigned.
As the moderator of the helicopter's Facebook page, Mr Strickland said most of the community comments about their situation had been very supportive.
Despite picking up the cheques the helicopter remained on-call, quickly flying off to Mt Taranaki to investigate a beacon activation.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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