Mick's charity tradition raises almost $110,000 for cause
THE whir of a rescue helicopter flying over his Yangan property was the inspiration for Mick Bradford to start a fundraising tradition that has lasted almost two decades and raised nearly $110,000 for LifeFlight.
Through his popular Heavy Horse Day, running since 2001, Mr Bradford donated hefty sums to RACQ LifeFlight each year.
When he was unable to fundraise this year after cancelling the event due to ill health, his mates stepped in to ensure his charitable work continued.
When Mr Bradford started out, he never expected to raiseso much money for the charity.
"Back in them days they used to work from the Gold Coast - it just seemed to come over the house,” he said.
"If you've still got to go to Brisbane or something like that, it's very handy.”
Mr Bradford, 85, was quick to stress he didn't raise the funds alone.
But he was the one to host 16 Heavy Horse Days, which showcased the stunning animals as well as horse-powered farming equipment from the 1800s and 1900s.
"It wasn't only me - it was all my helpers,” he said.
"The Killarney Lions Club used to do a lot and when the days were on here there'd be 40 or 50 helpers about.”
It was helpers who came to the rescue when Mr Bradford was unable to host the event this year.
The Warwick Veteran and Vintage Car Club and the Allora Heritage Weekend Association handed over more than $10,000 at the Toowoomba RACQ LifeFlight Rescue base with Mr Bradford along for the ride.
Car club president and heritage association acting president Peter Stacy said Mr Bradford was a long-time member of the club and when a suggestion was raised at a recent meeting to support his fundraising efforts, the committee was all for it.
The club was also keen to see Mr Bradford's remarkable efforts acknowledged, Mr Stacy said.
"He doesn't seek any recognition for this - he never wanted to bang the drum about it,” he said.
"We just thought that the community needed to know that he'd done this.”
Mr Stacy said supporting LifeFlight was important as it was a service not fully funded by governments.
"We live in a rural community and that means when something goes wrong here we depend on help, usually from far away,” he said.
"If you don't have that service there, then when you get stuck in a bit of machinery or under a tractor you'll die.
"These guys perform a very essential service and it's got to be done.”
Toowoomba was the busiest RACQ LifeFlight Rescue base in the 2018-19 financial year.
Crews flew 643 critical missions, valued at more than $8million, at no cost to patients.