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Group photo at Shotover Canyon Swing L-R: Brent Macdonald with dog Ella, Shotover Canyon Swing Operations Manager Brad Cutler, Vladka Slivora with dog Jacques, Claire Stewart and Heidi Hoffman with dog Vice. CREDIT: Shotover Canyon Swing
Vladka is all smiles as she attempts the Shotover Canyon Swing - The Chair style. Shotover Canyon Swing crew Brad Cutler (L) and Benjamin Lucas give Vladka a helping hand. CREDIT: Shotover Canyon Swing
The Wakatipu Search and Rescue team has been able to take on and train a new puppy for bush and avalanche rescue thanks to support from this year’s Shotover Canyon Swing fundraiser.
Throughout June, those who used the Shotover Canyon Swing were offered another swing for a minimum donation, waving the usual $39 extra-jump charge.
With support from local companies Southern Approach and Small Planet as well as collections and support from local booking agencies, Shotover Canyon Swing has been able to provide up to $10,000 worth of equipment for the Wakatipu Search and Rescue team.
Claire Stewart from Shotover Canyon Swing said the company had decided to support a local charity this year, in its third annual fundraiser.
“We’re proud to support the Wakatipu Search and Rescue team because these are local people who volunteer for the community. These guys have 9-5 jobs, partners, kids, but are always prepared to drop everything and risk life and death to rescue others.”
Brent Macdonald has been a dog handler with Search and Rescue for over 15 years, and said he was “delighted” with the support of Shotover Canyon Swing and their fundraising efforts.
“In the time that I have been with the organisation no-one has ever offered this kind of support – we’re blown away,” he said.
“As a result the bush and avalanche team is now a self-sufficient operation. We’re taking on and training a new puppy on August 19, which means we will be committed to Search and Rescue for the next ten years. Without the support from Shotover Canyon Swing, this would not be possible,” he said.
Mr Macdonald said until now he had been considering retiring his volunteer role at Search and Rescue.
“This recent support has motivated me to stay on and continue offering my skills and experience for a lot longer,” he said.
Miss Stewart said three handlers and dogs were all given response-ready packs, which gave them all they would need to survive while conducting a three day rescue in the mountains.
“As a volunteer organisation, the previous equipment they had was only what had been personally bought or acquired as a group, but now they have top-of-the-range packs which has raised their potential support time, which could mean the difference between life and death in a rescue.
“We have previously supported great charities, but this year decided to stay local because that better represents Shotover Canyon Swing’s origins. We have a community minded team with two staff who are volunteer firemen. To support Wakatipu Search and Rescue was a unanimous decision amongst staff and since the fundraiser, three other members of staff have volunteered to join Search and Rescue.”