A bus load of 39 people, the majority being woolgrowers, converged on the Melbourne woolstores on Thursday, to watch the two donated bales of wool make 4000c/kg.
The money is being donated to a service that is close to the hearts of many Gippsland farmers, according to Elders Gippsland district wool manager Mal Nicholls.
“We have had such great support from people from East Gippsland, and it’s probably because they’re a little bit more remote than other parts of Victoria, and a large number of people we’ve had on the bus today have had some direct involvement in the medical services provided by the helicopters,” Mr Nicholls said.
One of those people is Jackie Smith, Omeo, who had a quad bike accident four years ago, and was transported to hospital in one of the helicopters.
“I broke two ribs, had a hairline fracture in my back, and shattered my right ankle, and I don’t know what would have happened if it weren’t for Helimed,” Ms Smith said.
“It’s an excellent service, and one that we’re truly lucky to have available.”
The bales were purchased by Lou Morsch, Modiano, who bought one of the charity bales last year as well.
Mr Nicholls said donations made to Helimed can provide lifesaving equipment.
“This is our third year donating to Helimed, and one of the things they’ve put on Helimed since we’ve been doing this is ultrasound equipment, which paramedics continually tell us has saved lives since we’ve donated it, so we feel like we really are contributing,” he said.
He said the result of the auction, and everyone’s efforts, was “marvellous”.
“It’s just a great result, the total value of that wool at commercial rates would have been about $5000, so it’s a great donation by the woolgrowers of Gippsland, and the buyers have more than doubled what they would normally pay, it’s very generous,” he said.