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First National Port Stephens resurrect the famous ‘Chopper Ball’ for charity

First National Port Stephens has relaunched the famous ‘Chopper Ball’ and raised $62,016 to help support the work of the Westpac Helicopter Service.

Hosted at the Shoal Bay Country Club, the 1930’s themed event was conceived by First National Real Estate Port Stephens Principal, Rebecca Dean, to bring back the excitement and community connection she remembers well, growing up in Port Stephens.

“The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service is such an important part of our community and has always been here for us when we have needed it,” Ms Dean said.

“When I was a kid, ‘Chopper Balls’ used to be an exciting annual event and I remember how they always used to bring our whole community together. 

“Last year, it occurred to me that we really should be doing them again and, gradually, we managed to pull this entire event together.

“It turned out to be a wonderful evening that raised much-needed funds to support a vital service that saves lives in our region every year.”

Ms Dean said that the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service played a vital role in the Port Stephens community.

“The Westpac Helicopter is always doing rescues and it’s a very special thing in our area,” she said.

“I think we all personally know people that have been looked after by them.

“So for us, it was very easy to support them because they are always rescuing people from the ocean or from football games or car accidents.”

Ms Dean said they wanted to bring the Chopper Ball back and make it an annual event.

“We wanted to put on a good show so that people would come back next year,” she said.

“I think next year’s going to be a lot easier because we’ve already got the blueprint for it and we’re not starting from scratch.

“And the support groups are really excited so they’re on board for it next year as well.”

Ms Dean expressed her appreciation to the many locals who bought tickets and donated fundraising items, as well as for the major sponsors of the Chopper Ball, which included the Shoal Bay Country Club, Port Stephens Council, Pure Property Management, House of Habitats, Hunter Valley Concrete Pumping Service and Marquis.

During the evening, entertainment was provided by Richard Jones and auctioneer Gavin Reynolds raised pulses to generate spirited bidding for the donated items.

“It would have been impossible to make the Chopper Ball a success without the generosity of so many within our community,” Ms Dean said.

“So many small businesses jumped onboard without a second thought, offering donations, raffles and prizes, that we were overwhelmed by the community spirit generated.” 

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a senior journalist at Elite Agent specialising in finance and real estate.

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