STARS Flying High and Growing
Thursday, May 3, 2012 - 4:55 PM
A mix of private and public funding has kept STARS air ambulance in the sky for almost 30 years. The air ambulance service is celebrating one of its private sponsors. STARS has received over $500 million in cumulative donations over the past 20 years from Canadian energy producer Enerplus. “We’re proud of continued commitment to STARS, and the vital emergency medical care and transportation service they provide to the communities and surrounding areas in which we operate,” Enerplus’ senior manager of Canadian operations, Gord Love said in a press release.
STARS currently has bases in Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie and Winnipeg. With Enerplus' help, STARS is moving into Saskatchewan. STARS opened a base in Regina last month and is planning to open another one in Saskatoon later this year.
STARS receives approximately 20 per cent of its funding from the government, with the resting coming from fundraising efforts and donations, says Cam Heke, STARS spokesperson. “Enerplus is a great example of the corporate partnerships that we have and that enables us to continue flying these missions,” he says. “STARS is a non-profit charitable organization so this commitment by Enerplus to enable us to continue flying is very valuable to us and we can’t say enough how appreciative we are for that gift.”
Corporate sponsors are important, but Heke says individual donations do go a long way. “While it’s very valuable to have these large corporate donations we do also rely on those individual donations that come in from people who buy our calendars, lottery tickets and just people who provide monthly donations of $10, $20 or $30 a month. All of that comes together to help keep STARS on the sky.”
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