Shotover Canyon Swing shows community heart with fundraiser 19 Jun 2012
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19 June 2012
Shotover Canyon Swing shows its community ‘heart’ with fundraiser
Queenstown’s high speed adrenalin thrill experience Shotover Canyon Swing has shown its big-hearted, community-minded side by raising funds for a sick little boy.
Shotover Canyon Swing’s Community Fundraiser is an initiative run each year to raise funds for a charity picked by the company’s own staff.
This year the company raised $8,000 for the ‘Help Heal Rhys Foundation’. Rhys Heal was born prematurely and suffers from cerebal palsy, and is the nephew of former Shotover Canyon Swing employee Susie Swaffield.
Every customer who experienced a Swing from the middle of May to June 17 was offered another swing in return for a $10 donation, waiving the usual $39 extra jump charge.
“Each year we select a charity or worthy person to support with our annual fundraiser. This year Susie approached us to see if we would be able to help the fundraising efforts for an operation Rhys badly needs,” said Marketing Projects Manager Steve Thompson.
“Everyone’s generosity was amazing Each year we’re blown away by how willing people are to help.”
Rhys’s cerebal palsy means he has difficulty walking distances, falls a lot, finds stairs are a problem, riding a scooter too intricate and jumping impossible, largely because the cerebal palsy makes his legs so stiff.
Despite this, Rhys and his family are determined he should receive every opportunity to overcome these challenges. Although only given a fifty percent chance of walking at birth, Rhys overcame those odds by walking at age three.
Funds have been raised for Rhys to have Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy, an operation where sensory nerves in the spinal cord are cut, permanently reducing his stiffness. The five-year-old will then need ongoing intensive physiotherapy for a further two years.
Ms Swaffield said the money raised by Shotover Canyon Swing had pushed the fund ‘over the line’ to enable Rhys to have the life-changing operation in the United States, which he is booked in for next week.
“I couldn’t believe how much they raised, I was absolutely gobsmacked,” she said.
“This money has helped push the fund over the £50,000 pound-mark needed for the operation, which will give him so much more independence.
“For him to be able to walk down the street without falling over would be pretty amazing.”
Ms Swaffield said Shotover Canyon Swing “jumped on board” straight away when she approached them to raise money for Rhys.
“They’re a tight knit company they look after you, so I was really chuffed they stood behind me and helped me out. Their hearts melted when they saw a video of Rhys, so I’d like to say a huge ‘thank you’ on behalf of Rhys and his family.
“I can’t believe what a generous place Queenstown is.”
The team at Shotover Canyon Swing was “delighted” to raise funds for a cause close to their heart.
“Even though Susie no longer works for us full-time, once someone works at the Swing they are part of the family,” said Mr Thompson.
Billed as ‘the world’s highest cliff jump’, the adrenalin-fuelled nature of Shotover Canyon Swing is a good fit for the Help Heal Rhys fundraising effort. Rhys’ mother ran her first marathon as her contribution to the fund, and other family friends in the UK took part in an ultra-marathon (70 miles), a 112-mile bike ride and sky diving to help the cause.
“We always want to ensure that the money we raise as part of our community fundraiser will go somewhere where it will make a difference,” said Mr Thompson.
“We’re only a small company but it’s so rewarding for us to help make a big difference, especially when it involves someone who used to be part of the team.”
Last year Shotover Canyon Swing raised funds for earthquake-devastated Mt Pleasant School in Christchurch.
To become a fan of Shotover Canyon Swing on Facebook visit http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shotover-Canyon-Swing/47078212798 or follow the team’s blog on www.canyonswing.co.nz/blog.
Shotover Canyon Swing:
Not your average backyard experience, the Shotover Canyon Swing is an undie-staining, adrenalin stimulating activity achieved by launching yourself from a platform perched on top of a very high cliff edge. Reaching speeds of up to 150kph as the rocks rush towards you in a 60m freefall, the ropes then smoothly swing you out across the famous Shotover Canyon.
From mild to mindblowing, we’ve got a jumpstyle to suit the most timid of swingers and the most adventurous adrenalin junkie, including a Tandem Cliff Jump, specially designed for two.
Shotover Canyon Swing is a multi-award winning, OutdoorsMark certified and Qualmark-endorsed activity.
All Shotover Canyon Swing experiences are safe, fun and rewarding. Safety considerations are fundamental to every aspect of the operation with the best crew, training, equipment and procedures in place to give ensure the best experience. Swingers are secure in a chest and seat harness and swing on 2 independent ropes, each with a breaking strain of 2.8 tonnes, enough to lift four cars All aspects of the swing satisfy industry safety requirements and are regularly inspected, maintained and upgraded. Experienced and extensively trained jumpmasters ensure your safety at all times. Regular rigorous inspections ensure the highest standards of operation.
• Best Experience in New Zealand 2007, 2008 and 2010 in The TNT Magazine Golden Backpacks Consumer Voted Awards
• Humour in Business Supreme Award 2007 and 2008
• Best Bungy/Swing at the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Rankers NZ Traveler Awards
• New Zealand Tourism Industry Association’s 2008 ‘Adventure Category Award’
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