Luca Wiegand, 4, won a scenic flight around Nelson at the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter Trust open day. Photo: Sara Hollyman.

Luca taken to new heights


A generous four-year-old boy was taken to new heights on Sunday as part of an annual fundraiser.

Luca Wiegand arrived at the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter Trust Base Open Day dressed as a fire fighter.

The judges of the annual dress-up competition were so impressed by his get-up that he was one of five children selected as a winner.

As a prize Luca and his mum were treated to a scenic helicopter ride over Nelson – something that others were paying $70 for during the fundraiser.

It was his first time in a helicopter and Luka thought the view up there was something pretty special.

What did he see?

“Lots of houses and roads.”

The win was made even more special by the fact that in March, Luca had made a generous donation to the trust.

Luca had chosen to have a 50/50 party to mark his fourth birthday. A 50/50 party encourages guests to bring a cash gift with half of the money used by the child to buy a present and the other half donated to a charity chosen by the child.

Luca chose the rescue helicopter trust and took his donation down to the base after his party, where it was gratefully received by the crew on duty.

Rescue helicopter manager Paula Muddle says the open day is a great opportunity to allow locals an insight into what emergency services get up to day-to-day.

“We never run out of small kids who want to see helicopters and fire engines and ambulances.”

She says it was also a chance for people they had rescued to pop along and offer their thanks, which was a regular occurrence.

“They think we’ve got the doors closed and they can’t come and see us, so they use this day to come by and say thanks to the crew.”

The open day was a great boost for the May Chopper Appeal, with $3000 raised for the trust.