THANKS: General manager of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Kris Beavis (left) presents Cliff Reynolds, from Ballina, with a thank you certificate after Mr Reynolds donated his footy-tipping winnings to the lifesaving service.
THANKS: General manager of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Kris Beavis (left) presents Cliff Reynolds, from Ballina, with a thank you certificate after Mr Reynolds donated his footy-tipping winnings to the lifesaving service.

Footy tipping helps charities

BALLINA’S Cliff Reynolds reckons the reason he won the Seagulls’ footy-tipping competition this year is because he had no pressure.

Yes, he studies the games and the form of the teams.

Yes, he puts a fair bit of effort into the tips – keeping an eye on his favoured Manly Sea Eagles.

But he knew from the start of the season that anything he won wasn’t going to be his, anyhow.

A few years ago, Cliff won the Aussie Hotel’s footy-tipping competition.

As the season was under way, he told a barmaid at the pub that if he ever won the competition, he would donate his earnings to charity.

“I never expected to win,” he joked.

But he did, and he gave the money away – $1000 – to the Ballina Jet Boat Rescue service.

“And I felt good afterwards,” he said.

When this year’s competition began at the Ballina Seagulls Rugby League Club, he decided he would do the same if he won.

And he did. He also came third in the competition at the Slipway Hotel.

He decided this time he would give the money to a different charity, and last week handed over his total winnings of $1000 to the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter.

“The fact that I know I’m giving it (the money) to charity takes the pressure off ,” he said.

“It’s not my money I’m winning.”

Cliff has lived in Ballina for 30 years and has played both rugby league and union locally.

And he had a strong drive to raise money for the two lifesaving organisations.

“I don’t believe that surf clubs and things like that should go knocking on doors looking for money,” he said.

General manager of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, Kris Beavis, said this year had been a particularly tough one in terms of fundraising for the life-saving service.

He said 60 per cent of the funds for the $5.5 million annual operating costs came from the community, and a donation like Mr Reynoldswas significant.

“Without the support of the community, we (the helicopter service) wouldn’t exist,” he said.

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter was first established by the Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore Surf Life Saving Club in Ballina 27 years ago.

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