Star impersonations to help fund helicopter pad

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JACK.CONROY@nullcluthaleader.co.nz

A ’90s television show is set to receive a Clutha reimagining at a fundraising event for a new helipad.

A Stars in Their Eyes-style talent show will grace the stages of the Lawrence Simpson Park function hall in early August to raise money for a $45,000 helipad.

‘‘We’ve got a few local singers organised,’’ Lawrence-Tuapeka Community Board member Tim Dickey said.

‘‘They will do a cover song of an artist of their choice. They’ll be dressed up and out there on stage as whoever they want.’’

There would also be a panel of judges, Mr Dickey said.

A charity auction would raise extra funds; items had been donated by businesses around the district and those who had booked tables at the event.

While the night was expected to be ‘‘a lot of fun’’, the financial boost needed for the helipad was a sobering reality.

‘‘Lawrence is isolated. An hour from Dunedin,’’ Mr Dickey said.

Helicopter travel was needed to get the most seriously ill and injured patients to assistance, and a suitable landing pad was needed in the township.

‘‘We need a hard surface, out of the way, with good landing lights.

‘‘We want to make it as easy as possible for these guys to do their jobs. People’s lives are in the balance.’’

The Waitahuna resident was a firefighter who operated in Dunedin, but helped out on local callouts when he was home.

One such event about mid-June last year highlighted the need for a superior landing pad.

‘‘We tried to wheel a man across to the helicopter but the wheels of the chair got stuck . . . so we had to carry him,’’ Mr Dickey said.

Four fire officers carried the man to the helicopter.

‘‘It was a good thing he was only 80kg, and not 120kg. How many would be needed to carry the stretcher then?’’

Once the money was secured, construction of the helipad could begin ‘‘within a few months’’.

The Stars in Their Eyes event is on Saturday, August 22, at 7pm at Simpson Park function hall in Lawrence. Contact Tim Dickey on 027 302-8020 for more information.