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Northern NSW : Summer 2011
Angel Billy Patron Ron Smith Village residents’ consistent support Ron Smith, aka “Mr. Angel Billy”, and long time member of the Nelson Bay Volunteer Support Group, had a dream many years ago to stage a “special” golf day to raise funds for the WRHS. Ron’s dream turned into a reality in 1998 and the Angel Billy Golf Classic was launched, with Ron as Convener. His search for a catchy name for the tournament came about when he heard that the Rescue Helicopter crew had given the name of Angel Billy to a toy Koala which was their mascot at the time. In the first year, 204 players entered the event and $8,000 was raised. As the years went by, the event escalated to 400 players over the 27 hole course at Nelson Bay Golf Club, with some years raising as much as $40,000 at each tournament. Over 14 years, the “Angel Billy” has raised almost $500,000. This tournament has long been a fixture on the Nelson Bay golfing calendar, going from strength to strength. Residents and holiday makers at the Island Leisure Village at Anna Bay have been outstanding supporters of the Service. Sometimes they have no choice because Eddie French, helped by his wife Gwen, knows if they have bought their raffle ticket. If they haven’t, Eddie follows it up!!! Consequently, over $50,000 has been raised in the past 9 years. Eddie and Gwen are devoted volunteers for the Service in their small community and are well supported by the family, friends and colleagues at Island Leisure Village. Many thanks to all. “Dear Sir, Enclosed is a cheque as a donation to your funds. We are most appreciative of the service we get at the Bay from the Rescue Helicopter Service and I will try to donate at intervals to the Service” Donor Salamander Bay Local business sponsors, sporting celebrities and club players fill the field each year. Ron’s dream has proven to be a winner, and on Sunday 13th November at the 14th Angel Billy Golf Classic, Ron was honoured with a plaque and the lifetime title of Patron of this great tournament by Richard Jones GM of WRHS. Eddie and Gwen French at the end of year barbeque at Island Leisure Village, Anna Bay Page 18 Westpac Rescue Helicopter Ser vice - Rescue Summer 2011
Winter 2012 redo