Life was more colourful and a little hairier than usual at RAAF Base Edinburgh this spring as Air Force Surveillance and Response Group participated in Anglicare South Australia’s ‘Grow n Shine’ fundraiser.
CAPTION: Air Force SRG personnel. Front: (l-r) Squadron Leader Lachlan Adam, Anglicare Fundraising Coordinator Tammy Rees, Officer Commanding 92 Wing Group Captain Paul Carpenter and Sergeant Richard Wren at RAAF Base Edinburgh, SA. Photo by Sergeant Bill Solomou.
Over 230 aviators spent five weeks growing beards and painting their nails to help AnglicareSA support vulnerable South Australians in need – raising an incredible $9,200 for the charity.
92 Wing maintenance aviation safety officer Flight Sergeant Kane Langmaid, who was the driving force of the fundraiser, wanted to expand on previous efforts and link with Defence values to demonstrate their achievements, both inside and outside of Air Force.
“This fundraiser embodies our Air Force values,” said Flight Sergeant Langmaid.
“By doing something different and a little amusing we were able to serve our community and highlight these values.”
92 Wing personnel capability specialist Leading Aircraftwoman Tasmin McGill took part knowing the impact the money raised would have on AnglicareSA’s programs.
“I was excited to wear colourful nails to work and I absolutely loved it,” Leading Aircraftwoman McGill said.
92 Wing acoustic warfare analyst Sergeant Richard Wren said he really wanted to support a charity that for over 160 years has been supporting South Australians in need.
“Having a family member with a disability made [participating in] this fundraiser all the more satisfying,” said Sergeant Wren.
“I often grow a beard on leave, so growing one in work time felt strange but very welcome!”
For Air Force aviators, the ability to have a beard at work or wear colourful nails was more than just a novelty: their change in appearance provided a new level of camaraderie and generated banter. This created interest with friends and family wanting to participate in next year’s fundraiser.
AnglicareSA fundraising engagement coordinator Ms Tammy Rees said the funds Air Force raised would go a long way in the local community, and that emergency assistance teams have seen a rise in the number of South Australians engaging the services of the charity.
“With the ever-increasing cost of food and housing, people who would normally not need support are now seeking assistance through our donor-funded programs Emergency Assistance, Turning Point, Thread Together, Youth Leaving Care and Star Bear,” said Ms Rees.
“We are so grateful for your efforts and this kind of support is critical to ensuring we can continue to provide much needed services to South Australians in need.”