GALLERY: Showstopping spy entrance not for the faint-hearted
TO THE theme song of James Bond and The Incredibles, Tweed locals did their own impression of a showstopping spy entrance - from more than 10 storeys high.
The inaugural Leaders Leap fundraising event for the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter had 21 people conquering their fears by crawling off the edge of Southern Cross University's building in Coolangatta today.
At the time of publication, the 13 fundraiser teams had raised $35,330 to keep the Lismore-based rescue helicopter supporting the Tweed's residents during times of emergency as operating costs for the helicopter are about $4000 an hour.
Required to raise $2500 to participate, the community leaders abseiled more than 30m down, two at a time, with the help of NSW Mines Rescue Service with friends, colleagues and family members cheering them on.
First ropellor to touch the ground was Westpac's own pilot Tom Hulse.
"Believe it or not I'm not actually great with heights," he said with a laugh.
"When you lower yourself over the edge is the worst part.
"Each bit of equipment you have on makes a sound and a bit of a jolt.
"It's great to conquer your fears."
Staring up at those before him, Tweed dentist Ramesh Sivabalan would have preferred not to watch the gut-wrenching drop of those pushing themselves over the edge before he had to do it himself.
"I'm more than a little nervous," he said with a laugh.
"I think I would have liked going first instead of fifth."
However despite his hesitation, Mr Sivabalan and Tweed Byron Police District Commander David Roptell both made it to the ground victorious.
Also among the fall guys was Tropical Fruit World general manager Aymon Gow, who needed the rescue service himself after a surfing accident.
As the top ranked fundraiser for the event, Mr Gow's team raised $4,750.15
Rescue helicopter spokesman Zeke Huish remarked the fall was definitely not for the faint hearted.
"Saying thank you to everyone who took part is simply not enough given the personal challenges each one has faced in taking on the giant Leap."