Oamaru team tops fundraising table

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Firefighters raise $24,136.72

The Oamaru Volunteer Fire Brigade contingent that took part in the Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge on Saturday is resting up after the gruelling event, but raising a huge amount of money for Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand has eased the pain.
Dave Sutherland, Ben Bringans and Peter Mason raised $24,136.72, the most raised nationally in the category for a team with two to five members.
They also won the overall fundraising prize for all teams.
Mr Sutherland finished the 51-storey, 1103-step climb wearing 25kg of gear in a time of 22min 11sec, while Mr Bringans completed it in 16min 2sec and Mr Mason in 14min 35sec.
Mr Sutherland said if it had not been for the support of the Oamaru public, his team would not have got close to its fundraising target.
“We all had our personal goals, and the fundraising was a big part of it too. I think it’s fair to say we all reached our goals, which was great.
“We were quite surprised to be the top team. We didn’t think we were at that level, especially with the Auckland teams and the amount of money they bring in.”He said the team had a huge amount of support from local businesses and individuals, and reserved special praise for restaurateur Sally-Ann Donnelly, who he described as an “inspiration”.
“We only won because of the generosity of people in the Oamaru community.”He said the stair climb was a daunting challenge but the team had trained well. “We had prepared quite well for it and we had some really cool local people helping us out with it.
“At the start, when you see people coming down from the Sky Tower in wheelchairs and so forth, that certainly plays with your head a wee bit. It’s very much a mental thing.”Asked if the group planned on tackling the Sky Tower again, he was confident that would be the case.
“I think everyone is in that mind-set.”In total, 850 firefighters from around the country took part, and raised a record $1.161 million.