St Bathans dance raises funds for defibrillator

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ALEXIA.JOHNSTON

@alliedpress.co.nz

St Bathans is proving small communities can do big things.

In just one night, the St Bathans Area Community Association raised more than $7000 for a defibrillator, which will be made publicly accessible within the township in the near future.

The event, called the Blue Grass Country Dance, also featured an auction and attracted about 80 people.

It was hosted in the St Bathans hall on April 13.

Association member Alison Fitzgerald said the end result was a great outcome.

“We can now purchase a defibrillator.”

The machine, which is used to assist someone who is having a cardiac event, will be purchased as soon as possible.

Training would also be arranged so people in the community would know how to use it, she said.

Overall, the people who attended the event had a great time.

“They absolutely loved it. Everyone had a fantastic time,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

“I think it’s real testimony to the community. They love a good time.”

Ms Fitzgerald also thanked the many people and sponsors for their role in making the event a success.

“I can’t thank the sponsors enough for their generosity.”

St Bathans is home to about 15 permanent residents and “hundreds” of visitors and holidaymakers over the warmer months.

The town closest to St Bathans with a defibrillator is Omakau, about 33km away.

Until now, if a life-threatening emergency occured in St Bathans, first responders would need to come from either Ranfurly or Omakau – 30 to 45 minutes away.

Ms Fitzgerald said another similar fundraising event would soon be on the agenda.

“We will definitely be doing another event, [we] just have to think up another good cause for the community to benefit.”