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$1 million donation for new ambulance station

An anonymous Wairarapa family has donated $1 million to Wellington Free Ambulance [WFA] to support the Wairarapa Station build.

The donation – the single largest ever made to the charity – lifts the project to 60 per cent of its fundraising target.

The $7 million state-of-the-art facility on the corner of Queen St and Russell St in Masterton will be the permanent base for more than 30 emergency response crew, patient transfer officers, and rescue squad members who serve Wairarapa.

Fundraising and communications manager Claire Carruthers said the donation is what every fundraising project hopes to achieve.

“We are humbled by this extremely generous gift,” she said.

“True philanthropy is said to be a gift of love based on shared values, and this donation certainly is those two things.”

Carruthers said the donating family wished to remain anonymous, while noting they are humble, private, and believed the new station was necessary for WFA’s ability to serve the region’s needs.

“It will future-proof our service in Wairarapa for decades to come,” she said.

Carruthers said the gift came at the perfect time to shine a light on the fundraising campaign.

“Our mission [with the new station] is simple – to save lives and support our people.

“Our staff do an incredibly tough job with care and patience every day and night. Every donation shows the community believes in our people.”

The fundraising project is on track, but community support will be vital to raising the remaining $2.8 million, Carruthers said.

WFA intends to break ground at the site in July and complete the station build in April 2024.

The $1 million contribution is not the region’s first generous health-related donation.

Wairarapa residents will remember Bevan “Spike” Jones, who donated three ambulances to WFA in his will, one of which was in given to Wairarapa WFA in 2018.

People might also remember the Wilton family, who donated two ambulances from their Shamrock Trust, set up after their “Irish Luck” syndicate won $36.9 million in Masterton in 2009.

Carruthers said that anyone who wanted to match this gift could contact her at claire.[email protected]

People can find out more about the project or donate online at buildwairarapastation.org.nz

Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age who regularly writes about education. He is originally from Wellington and is interested in environmental issues and public transport.

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