Local group raises over $34,000 for STARS during eleventh annual event

Over the next five years, STARS plans to replace their fleet of aging BK 117 helicopters

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Advance

Tens of thousands of missions later, STARS (Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society) is still flying high, making a difference in people’s lives.

The service, which debuted in the dying days of 1985, will have surpassed 40,000 missions by the end of 2019, and it will have done so primarily by generous donations from industry and supporters from the public.

In fact, the first responder organization is only about 20 per cent publicly-funded, through Alberta Health Services. The rest of the money is fundraised.

There are many fundraisers throughout the province over the year, with Castor’s own contribution taking place over the second weekend in July with the Battle River Ride for Stars.

This year’s record-breaking ride raised over $34,000 and earlier in August seven members of the Ride’s organization traveled to Edmonton to present a cheque to STARS.

“It’s the best ride we’ve had in 11 years,” said one of the event organizers, Tara Muhlbeier.

The $34,000 raised in the 2019 ride brings the rides’ life-time total to just shy of $200,000, an important portion of STARS Alberta’s approximate $38 million annual operating budget.

STARS is no stranger to Paintearth County, with the service averaging six calls to the region per year, at an estimated $45,000, or around $7,500 per mission.

People fundraise for STARS for different reasons, and for Randall Muhlbeier that reason is his parents, who were flown by STARS after a traffic accident around 12 years ago.

“They were on their way to Spruce Grove, they met a truck pulling a trailer with a pintle hitch, and the trailer came unhooked,” said Randall.

“They picked them up with STARS right off the highway.”

STARS’ history is full of stories like Randall’s.

As STARS transitions to a new fleet of helicopters, the organization is actually dedicating the first of its helicopters to its very first patient, Kelly Waldron, and is doing so by registering one of the helicopters with the designation C-GKLY, an acknowledgement of her first name.

Over the next five years, STARS plans to replace their fleet of aging BK 117 helicopters with nine new helicopters, at an estimated cost of $13 million an airframe.

The aircraft chosen to replace the venerable workhorse is the H145, produced by Airbus in Europe.

The first of the helicopters arrived in Alberta earlier this year, and the plan calls for a total of nine new aircraft to be in place over the next five years.

The Battle River Ride for Stars will be returning in 2020 to support the service, and volunteers are needed to help organize the ride. Work for the 2020 edition of the ride will begin in September.

 

Just Posted

County not moving forward with a policy making medical reasons a priority for road clearing

The decision was made during the Sept. 17th meeting of council

Buffalo Lake Nature Club aims to draw youth to the outdoors

Organization looking for person to spearhead nature activities for youth, children

Sylvan Lake’s Flags of Remembrance looks to fill all 128 spots

Allan Cameron says there are still a handful of honour plaques available for the 2019 event

Castor Minor Sports is hosting a ‘Battle of Alberta’ NHL Alumni game on March 29th, 2020

Eleven community members per team will skate side by side with NHL veterans

Castor ‘Cares 4 Kids’ program at risk of shutting down due to lack of funds

Currently six to 10 families a year make use of the program

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Wetaskiwin RCMP investigate armed robbery

Wetaskiwin police seek identification of suspects

Blackfalds RCMP investigate fatal collision with cyclist on Highway 2

32-year-old male cyclist from Red Deer was pronounced dead at the scene

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

Vaping-related illness confirmed in Ontario believed to be first in Canada

Middlesex-London Health Unit had no further details about the case — believed to be the first confirmed in Canada

Canadian stars Virtue, Moir say in video they’re ‘stepping away’ from ice dancing

The pair thank fans for their support in an emotional message

Outspoken Imperial Oil CEO Rich Kruger stepping down later this year

Imperial Oil is about 70 per cent owned by Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp., since 2013

‘Time to take action:’ Children advocates call for national youth suicide strategy

Council wants Ottawa to make reporting of suicides and attempted suicides mandatory for data collection

Canadian inflation decelerates to 1.9% as gas prices weaken

August was the sixth straight month that price growth was 1.9 per cent or higher

Most Read