A record-breaking amount has been donated to the Rob Vine Fund thanks to the outstanding generosity of Isle of Man Steam Packet Company passengers.
Collections on board sailings during the 2017 TT Festival raised £19,465, more than £3,000 above the previous highest total.
It means in excess of £255,000 has been donated to the Fund since the first annual Steam Packet Company collection was held in the mid-1990s.
The Fund was established in memory of Rob Vine, a competitor who died after a crash at the Black Dub during the 1985 Senior TT. It is a voluntary charity which provides pre-hospital medical and rescue care, equipment and training of medics for a number of motorsport events held in the Isle of Man.
This includes the provision of basic first aid and advanced life support equipment around the TT Mountain Course and the supply of medical and rescue equipment carried on helicopter ambulances – known as AirMeds - used during the TT, Manx Grand Prix and Southern 100.
This year’s cheque was presented to Dr David Stevens MBE, Secretary and Director of the Rob Vine Fund, Registered Charity No 954 (Isle of Man).
Dr Stevens said: ‘I am overwhelmed by the incredible generosity of TT fans. Every year they demonstrate fantastic support for the Fund but the total donated in 2017, which has smashed the previous record, has astonished us all.
‘Every penny will go towards helping the Fund to continue its important work ensuring vital medical and rescue equipment is available and medic training continues.’
He added: ‘This year the collections have passed the £250,000 milestone, and I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all those fans who have donated over the years, and also to every member of Steam Packet Company crew and staff who has been involved in coordinating annual collections on our behalf to reach this incredible total.’
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward commented: ‘There is a real sense of community among road racing fans and every year they dig deep to make a personal contribution to support the essential work the Rob Vine Fund does for the sport.
‘We are always delighted by the generosity of our passengers, but 2017 has been an incredible year with the previous record total being surpassed by so much.
‘Over the years these collections have raised more than £255,000 for the Fund, and I would like to personally thank every member of staff and crew involved in coordinating and carrying the collections and contributing to such an amazing achievement; they should all feel very proud.’
To find out more about the charity, visit www.robvinefund.im.
Photograph: Isle of Man Steam Packet Company crew present the cheque to representatives of the Rob Vine Fund