Bar patrons sprint to help St John

Wakatipu residents and visitors were so keen to give money to St John during the collection held around bars some people chased volunteers down the street to drop cash into their buckets.

The Wakatipu appeal week raised more than $10,500 for the charitable organisation and more money is coming in.

About $2000 was collected by volunteers outside New World Wakatipu, which also let St John staff talk directly to members of the public about their experiences and needs from the emergency service.

About $750 was raised from donations around Queenstown's bars on the Friday night. Other donations contributed a further $720.

The amount of money coming in from the direct mail campaign is not expected to be known for another month or two, but about $5000 was raised from the campaign last year.

The ''Treadmill Challenge'' in Remarkables Park raised $345 and pledges are still being counted.

Bank staff plus St John ambulance officers, first responders, advanced paramedics, health shuttle drivers, area committee members and even the occasional member of the community completed the challenge of running 187km, the rough distance around Lake Wakatipu, within the appeal week.

St John Queenstown area executive officer Jessica Patch said the money raised during appeal week would go towards the running costs of the health shuttle and towards a building project which would improve the earthquake standard of the ambulance station in Frankton.

''Now that the St John station is classified as an alternative emergency operations centre this strengthening work has become very important, as well as some other minor alterations, that will prepare the building for use by the [Queenstown Lakes district] council and other emergency teams in the event of a major catastrophe in Queenstown.''


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