A GENEROUS group of motorcyclists – including a high-profile Hartlepool figurehead – has announced it has raked in more than £367,000 for a life-saving helicopter service.
The massive cash sum has been raised through relentless fundraising events since June 2006 for the Great North Air Ambulance (GNAA) in a bid to keep it up and running.
And Keith Fisher, from the Clavering area of town, has been a part of that.
The 68-year-old, who joined the Boundary group about four years ago, has taken part in many of its events, with one of the most recent being a motorbike ride in Yorkshire Dales last summer when he raised cash for the cause through sponsorship, with a large portion of it from Mail readers.
And at a presentation night in Middlesbrough on Saturday, the group revealed that members’ hard work had raised a collective £367,053.
Keith said: “We are a group of local motorcyclists who try very hard to financially support the charity which flies the Great North Air Ambulance.
“My personal effectiveness is minuscule when compared with some of the other members, but I still took pride when the current running total of contributions was announced as being now over £367,000.
“Surely that is an impressive sum of money from a group of bikers?
“I’m very happy to confirm that the kindness from many Hartlepool Mail readers, by way of sponsoring me, is part of that overall contribution and I thank everyone most sincerely.”
At the presentation night, Keith’s efforts within the group were awarded with a vest signed by the star motorcyclists of this year’s Gold Cup races at Scarborough’s Oliver’s Mount Circuit, Ryan Farquhar, John McGuiness, Ian Lougher, Guy Martin, William Dunlop and Ian Hutchinson.
Keith added: “Anyone who knows me will find it hard to believe that I’m ever lost for words, but at the presentation night I was totally gobsmacked into silence by the announcement that Boundary 500 had arranged for the star riders of this years Gold Cup races to sign a dayglo vest which was presented to me on Saturday night.
“The very kind thought of giving me such a gift was overwhelming and something which I’ll never forget.”
The GNAA is totally reliant on donations from the public and does not receive any funding from the Government.