Monday, 25 June 2012

Chocs away, Lions roar into the sky

Photo: Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Director of Income Generation Lynne Mitchell, Head of Fundraising (Surrey) Julie Jenkinson, Keith Harris and Surrey Lions club members

Lion-hearted fundraisers have helped the county’s Air Ambulance potentially save 40 lives by raising more than £100,000 in just six years.

Surrey Lions have supported the charity through their annual Easter Egg Eggstravaganza since the appeal was launched to get the helicopter off the ground.

This year they raised a record £22,207 by distributing 280 giant Easter eggs each adorned with a lion.

Customers picked a name for the lion from a choice of 100 for a donation of just £1 which is the equivalent cost of one sheet of bubblewrap which is used to keep each patient warm.

Easter Eggstravganza committee chairman Keith Harris, said: “It started off as a little project at our own club at Farnham six years ago and has now grown across our zone of eight clubs.

“We started raising funds before there was actually an Air Ambulance and that’s one of the reasons we wanted to help, to help get it off the ground.

“The public have been incredibly supportive this year and they are becoming increasingly receptive.

“More and more people are saying that the doctor and paramedic have saved the lives of their friends and family and that’s just fantastic to hear.”

The Easter Eggstravaganza was organized by Lions clubs in Cranleigh, Farnham, Frimley and Camberley, Godalming, Guildford, Leatherheard, Surrey and Borders and Woking.

Representative from all eight clubs presented their cheque to Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance during a flying visit to the helicopter base at Dunsfold last week (June 21st).

The helicopter carries a specialist doctor and critical care paramedic on board can carry out advanced medical procedures, giving patients the best chance and quality of life.

Each emergency call-out costs about £2,500 so the sum raised by Surrey Lions has effectively helped to potentially save 40 lives.

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