Christchurch firm flies high for a good cause

As a law firm, we are always looking for ways to get involved in community events. This summer, a team from Mortlock McCormack Law decided to enter Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue’s 2018 Summer Crew Challenge.

Mortlock Mccormack

This year, 22 teams from 19 Christchurch businesses competed in the Summer Crew Challenge. The Challenge itself consists of two components – fundraising for Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue’s missions, and a fitness challenge.

The fundraising challenge was open to the whole of the business, with four individuals competing in the fitness challenge, which comprised various tests designed by the Air Rescue crew to be similar to what they would encounter on a mission. The Mortlock McCormack team consisted of Tony Herring (Partner, and ADLS Council member), Bianca Nuku (Legal Secretary), Leah Smith (Receptionist), and me.

At the information session, the Air Rescue team informed us that it costs approximately $5,000 to undertake one mission. As a firm, we decided that we should try and fundraise enough money to cover one mission. There was also a special prize for teams that could fundraise $5,000 – those teams could experience being winched into the helicopter!

The firm hosted a quiz and auction night as our main fundraising event. Our first task was to reach out to friends, clients and local businesses for ideas of prizes or auction items. After a couple of weeks (and a hundred or so emails), we had managed to put together quite a collection of vouchers and apparel, headlined by a signed Black Caps Test Jersey (donated by Tom Latham), four rounds of golf at Clearwater, Mt Hutt Ski passes and a three-month Les Mills membership.

The quiz/auction night proved to be a huge success, with the team raising over $6,000 on the event alone. We were especially pleased with the fact that this meant our team would get the opportunity to be winched up by the helicopter.

After that, we decided to increase our target to $10,000, i.e. enough to cover two missions. With a number of online donations, raffles and a shared lunch day, we managed to finish up with a total of $10,479.60, more than double our original target.

In March, the team headed out to the Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Base to undertake the fitness challenges that had been designed by the Air Rescue team. There were ten different stations, each with a five-minute challenge designed to test our fitness, problem-solving capacity and ability to work as a team.

The highlight was the efficient navigation of the obstacle course, with three of the team blindfolded and the leader yelling instructions. The toughest challenge was the three-minute plank, which only two of the team could finish – although, in fairness, as a team we had just completed 380 press-ups in five minutes.

The following week, we attended the prize giving evening and, to our delight, we came in second overall, with only the Christchurch Casino raising more money than us. In total, the 22 teams raised $70,721.91 – enough to fund 14 life-saving missions.

A couple of weeks later, we were invited back out to the Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Base for our team to be winched up into the helicopter and for a tour of the facility. It was a really great experience and a unique way of giving back to the community. I would encourage everyone reading this to get in contact with their local Air Rescue operator and to enquire whether they run a similar challenge. For all Canterbury and West Coast lawyers – come join us in 2019! 

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