Airman Ron hits $90k target, keeps going

Ron Towner, who has been walking his Halswell neighbourhood to raise money for the Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Trust, has turned 90 and reached his goal - but he is not giving up.

Known as Airman Ron, he completed his task of raising $90,000 in 90 days before he turned 90 last week.

But he is now vowing to go on for another year to raise more money.

Said Ron: "Amazing, thanks to all, and I am honoured and delighted. I’m determined to keep going. Next birthday, I am aiming for $91,000.”

Originally from the United Kingdom and a former Royal Air Force man, Ron was inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore who raised $NZ60 million for the National Health Service in Britain during the Covid lockdown in 2020 by walking around his backyard.

Ron completed 194,400 steps during his 90-day fundraiser.

His birthday last week was marked with a surprise party at the Westpac rescue helicopter base. There, he discovered the H145 Westpac rescue helicopter now bears his name – Airman Ron – in honour of his fundraising efforts.

Trust chief executive, Christine Prince, said Ron is an absolute hero.

“Despite restrictions from a stroke, a lung condition and suffering a bout of Covid in June, Ron continued his daily routine,” she said.

Local trusted journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Star Media journalists and photographers continue to report local stories that matter everyday - yours.

For more than 152 years our journalists have provided Cantabrians with local news that can be trusted. It’s more important now than ever to keep Cantabrians connected.

As our advertising has fallen during the pandemic, support from you our reader is crucial.

You can help us continue to provide local news you can trust simply by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter