Charity auction keeps ambulance service up to date

Charity auction keeps ambulance service up to date

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CHARITY AUCTION: The latest Elders Helimed charity wool auction has raised more than $13,000, here Elders Mal Nicolls congratulates Helimed auxiliary secretary Geoff Pollard and president Minke Bennett.

CHARITY AUCTION: The latest Elders Helimed charity wool auction has raised more than $13,000, here Elders Mal Nicolls congratulates Helimed auxiliary secretary Geoff Pollard and president Minke Bennett.

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Latest Elders charity wool auction hailed as one of the best ever.

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The latest Elders Gippsland charity bale auction has raised another $13,000 for Victoria's helicopter and air ambulance rescue service, Helimed.

Mal Nicholls, Elders Gippsland, said it was one of the best auction results ever.

"We had more wool donated than we ever had before," Mr Nicholls said.

"That was a wonderful effort from the wool growers of Gippsland, followed up with some wonderful support from the buyers."

Modiano and Australian Merino Exports paid $13,452 for two bales, containing 388 kilograms of 17.7-micron wool.

"Modiano have bought those bales, supporting Helimed, for the past five years on end," Mr Nicholls said.

Helimed One Air Ambulance Auxiliary secretary Geoff Pollard said more than $47,000 had been raised in the five years the auction had been going.

"The wool growers put their wool in the Omeo Show, it's judged and then donated to the agricultural society, and they donate it to us," Mr Pollard said.

"The money goes towards medical equipment that Ambulance Victoria needs.

"If the team manager comes to us, and wants the money, we will do it."

Mr Pollard said the money went to all of the fleet's five helicopters, based in Warrnambool, Melbourne, Bendigo and the Latrobe Valley.

"If we are in Mildura, the helicopter from Bendigo will pick us up, they will have the same equipment, and they will save our lives," he said.

He said 15 boxes, used to carry blood, were being upgraded.

"They've got to update the temperature control on these boxes," he said.

"They're putting in a Bluetooth system, where the team manager can tune in to see what temperature the blood is.

"The hospital can plug into that, and give them some new supplies if they need them."

Auxiliary president Minke Bennett said the growing mobility of society meant the ambulance service needed the latest equipment.

"Our aim is to have the latest, newest equipment we can purchase, so the paramedics will be up to date," Ms Bennett said.

"That's what we look at, all the latest equipment we can supply them with."

She said the auxiliary suggested putting the money from this year's auction to bushfire relief, but wool growers said it should still go to Ambulance Victoria.

"They didn't want that, they wanted us to keep the money from the wool sale and put it into equipment," she said.

"They appreciated we were thinking of them."

Donations started off at 12 fleeces, and had grown to around 70.

"People have been very, very supportive of the cause," Mr Nicholls said.

The first bale sold for 5400 cents a kilogram, while the second one was auctioned for 1650c/kg.

Elders were unable to bring a busload of supporters to the sale, which they usually do, due to the bushfires.

This year, clients donated 392kg of wool, which was first exhibited at the Omeo Show.

Mr Nicholls and the Gippsland wool growers thanked the buying trade, in particular Lou Morsch and the team from Modiano Australia, for their support.

Last year, Modiano and Techwool paid $10,722 for the two bales and Mr Nicholls said raffles on the day pushed the overall fundraising total to nearly $11,500.

In 2019, the top bale made 3550c/kg and the second bale sold for 2600c/kg.

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