January 13 - Philanthropic air charter broker, Air Charter Service (ACS) raised more than USD 75,000 last year for good causes, with money raised by staff matched by the London-based company.

Last year, the money raised went to the following charities; HEALCancer Research UKThe Shooting Star Children's HospiceThe Willow Foundation and The International Youth Arts FoundationACS has a dedicated committee helping to organise an array of fund-raising events.

One of the charities thatbenefitted from the money raised, HEAL, provides shelter, support, education and healthcare to some of the world's poorest children, with the aim of helping 10,000 young people escape the poverty trap by 2015.

One of the highlights of the company's fundraising year took place in September: an 18-strong ACS dragonboat team - named 'No Plane No Gain!' - took part in this year's Great River Race down the Thames, completing the gruelling 21-mile course in a respectable time of just under three hours, raising USD 9,000 for HEAL along the way.

Among a host of other charity functions, a raffle was held at ACS's European staff's Christmas party at The Aviator Hotel, Farnborough, garnering more than USD 21,000 for the chosen causes.

ACS funded the building of an IT block within HEAL's new self-sustaining village for orphans in Thotapally, India. Chrisand Tina Leach, respectively ACS chairman and company secretary, recently visited the site and described what they saw as "absolutely inspiring" (pictured below).

Looking forward to 2012, Tina, who heads up the ACS charity committee, is confident that ACS can provide yet more support to HEAL and the company's other charities. She says: "We are immensely proud that we can contribute to such wonderful causes. 2011 was a brilliantyear for ACS, but I believe we can do even more this year."