500 supporters of the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity dined and partied the night away at Edgbaston on Friday 8th July to celebrate 25 years of HELIMED service to the counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Staffordshire
The AIR25 ball and awards ceremony celebrated the special achievements of individuals and organisations who had made continuous and significant contributions to the charity over the quarter century of its existence.
In the category of Community Partner there was only one nomination, the Freemasons of the four counties, who between them had contributed over £1,100,000 over twenty-five years. This amount excludes personal legacies from Freemasons, which in themselves have been significant. The donations from Freemasonry have come from individual lodges, from Craft, Royal Arch and Mark Provinces as well as from other Orders and from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.
It was appropriate therefore that on the evening the award was presented to W Bro Dennis Hill PAGDC, who is the Treasurer of the Staffordshire and Shropshire Mark Benevolent Fund; Treasurer of the Shropshire Masonic Charitable Association; Treasurer of the 2019 Shropshire Festival Appeal in aid of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity and a Trustee of the Masonic Charitable Foundation! Dennis was presented with the award by television celebrity Rusty Lee. The stainless steel representation of a helicopter with the distinctive heartbeat logo displayed on all three Midlands Air Ambulance helicopters is a scale model of a very large sculpture which is soon to be prominently sited somewhere in the West Midlands.
The Midlands Air Ambulance Charity has helicopters based at Tatenhill in Staffordshire, at Cosford in Shropshire and at Strensham in Worcestershire and has carried out over 46,000 life-saving missions over the past twenty-five years. Recent high profile incidents include the Alton Towers ‘Smiler’ accident and the Sutton Coldfield stabbing of a pregnant lady. It is a fact that if a patient who has suffered a major trauma can reach hospital within sixty minutes they are several times more likely to survive. The Midlands Air Ambulances take the hospital to the patient - there are many alive today who without the service would have perished. It is all the more incredible that this important life-saving service is funded entirely by public, community and corporate donations. It receives no central or local government contribution other than a recent Libor grant of £240,000. Each mission costs a minimum of £2,500.
At the MAAC ball and awards ceremony Freemasonry was celebrated by the charity as its premier Community Partner over the past twenty five years. It is hoped that the award will, over the next twelve months, travel to each of the Craft masonic Provinces and to the Mark Province of Staffordshire and Shropshire and that the brethren of these Provinces will have an opportunity to see it.