$150,000 donated to rescue service over five years

The volunteer crew came in early last Thursday to celebrate the outlet's fifth birthday.
The volunteer crew came in early last Thursday to celebrate the outlet's fifth birthday.

Time flies when you're having fun and now $150,000 later, the Rescue Helicopter Op Shop is celebrating five years since first opening its doors at its original location in High Street.

The massive sum raised by the venture over that period has been boosted by the shop's relocation to Rouse Street where proceeds are up by around 40 per cent, according to support group chair Dodge Landers.


He said the shop is clearing more than $1000 a week, aided by its more-visible location.

"People stop to visit the School of Arts or go down to Coles or go to the doctor, and then see us and walk in and see what we've got.

"When it was cold they'd come in and ask if we had any warm clothes, and we could say we've got a bag of them out the back. Before it would have been a 2K trek to the storage shed."

The new location benefits from an extensive storage area at the rear of the premises, and Mr Landers said the shop still has plenty of items to move through and is not seeking donations at this stage.

The impressive sum donated to the rescue service since the shop's inception includes the lengthy period last year when the shop was closed due to COVID-19, and many clearance sales such as the recent fortnight when all items of clothing sold for $1 each.

The profit margin is helped by having a volunteer workforce. The ranks have been boosted by three new additions since the call went out following the successful annual golf day fundraiser, but Mr Landers said they are always looking for more.

The op shop is just one of the support group's fundraising arms. Its catering efforts at the Bumblebees' annual Westpac Helicopter Premiers Challenge on March 27 brought in $1300 and visiting Lennox Head Rugby Club donated $500.

Mr Landers said the fundraising event kicked off well with a generous $1000 donation from a local supporter, which set the tone for the day.