All year long in Alberta, prayers of gratitude are said because a loved one’s life was spared. Aided by the quick response of that red and white angel in the sky, the STARS helicopter, loaded with its highly-skilled emergency care team. Whether it is a road crash, a farm or industrial incident, an urgent transfer from a rural hospital, gravely sick and injured patients have a fighting chance when STARS arrives to airlift them to the nearest critical care centre.
STARS recently published its 2014 Alberta Mission stats and the numbers speak for themselves. Since its inception in 1985, STARS has flown 27,000 missions from its six bases in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In Alberta, including a few missions in BC communities close to an Alberta facility, 1,739 missions last year kept STARS’ pilots, medical teams and administration staff busy. In Leduc and area, 13 missions were completed in 2014, while 45 missions are on record for the Wetaskiwin region.
STARS pilots and air medical crews are highly trained; doctors, nurses and paramedics also work in our Alberta communities. STARS’ cutting-edge technology is only one of the many pursuits of excellence by the STARS organization, including the acquisition of the AW139 helicopters and advanced medical tools such as video laryngoscopes, as well as the de-icing processes that allow the choppers to fly more safely during winter missions.
This is the season when STARS is conducting one of its most rewarding fundraisers of the year, the STARS Lottery. With a retail prize total of $5.3 Million, 3,227 prizes are listed on the www.starslotteryalberta.ca website. With prizes such as million dollar homes located in Northern, Central and Southern Alberta, trips, vehicles and electronics, this lottery is an exciting way to support STARS while hoping for a lucky day. This year, STARS is introducing its LUCKY STARS 50/50, with its own list of attractive, fun prizes. For those supporters who prefer to deal with a person rather than a website, to purchase tickets , call 1-888-880-0992.
The deadline for the Early Bird STARS Lottery ticket purchase is March 4, 2015, while the Early Bird Draw will take place on March 20th. If there are a few tickets available, the Final Draw deadline to get tickets would be March 25, the Final Draw being on April 16. Corinne, the dynamic manager of the STARS Edmonton Base reminds us warmly that tickets sell out very fast, so Alberta supporters are encouraged to get their tickets soon, as the first deadline is fast approaching.
This Lottery is a popular opportunity for individuals, families and small businesses to support STARS on a level different from the major donors, but nonetheless impressive when the contributions are tallied collectively.
The STARS Calendar is also an annual, ‘inspiring’ fundraiser. Each month of the calendar features one traumatic day and its life-saving STARS mission, including the touching words of a VIP (Very Important Patient). Often shared by VIPs, this line reminds us of the unmeasurable value of the STARS service. “I would not be here today without STARS’ intervention!”