THE CAMPAIGN TO raise the funding that would secure the future of Moray’s Sea King helicopter has got off to a “flying start”.
That is the conclusion reached by members of the Morayvia group who launched a £30,000 appeal to ensure the future of their newly acquired science and technology centre exhibit.
Two months of intense campaigning with widespread backing from people of all walks of life in Moray and far beyond resulted in Morayvia volunteers securing a Sea King for the region.
The yellow SAR helicopters have a special place in Moray’s aviation history, having flown from RAF Lossiemouth for much of their 40-year use as the last hope for men and women in peril at sea and on land.
Having secured the aircraft, however, Morayvia has the task of securing the funding that would cover its purchase and transportation to Moray – as well as ensuring it had the best environment in which to be seen by the public who did so much to convince defence chiefs that it should be returned to the Moray community.
“Now the Sea King has been secured we need to help to ensure that it is made available at a centre of its own in a permanent exhibition,” Mark Mair, Morayvia’s Chairman, said, adding: “We want to set up a crew room and an operations room that will be live interactive exhibits.
“That will allow visitors to call in a “rescue” – and hear all the alarms going, just as it would have been for the crews on real missions. To do this we need to raise £30,000 and for that we need the help of the public.”
Since the 60-day fundraising campaign was launched on insideMoray on Thursday over £1800 has been raised, with pledges coming from individuals and businesses from within Moray as well as Aberdeen and Holland.
Contributions from £10 to £1000 have been made – each attracting members to the newly formed Moray Sea King Saviours Club (MSKSC).
Mark said: “The response has been great so far but and you could say we are off to a flying start – but we have some way to go yet before we can say that the Sea King, which is due to arrive in Moray next month, will have a secure and fitting home.
“MSKSC members will receive a special place of honour at the exhibition with their names listed on a wall alongside the Sea King. In addition they will receive discounts on visits to the exhibition centre – and those individuals or companies donating £1000 and £500 will receive very special recognition for their efforts.”
Full details of the fundraising offer can be found online at http://igg.me/at/saveaseaking.