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STARS News Release

STARS urges Albertans to “show the love” by supporting the STARS lottery

February 14, 2017

Calgary/Edmonton, AB, Feb. 14, 2017 – For more than 30 years, STARS has been writing love stories. Every time we fly a successful mission, we help to make a love story possible for a couple, a family, a community. Every day we see love stories unfold in our hangars when our crews reunite with their patients.

STARS has been honoured to craft thousands of love stories thanks to the generosity and passion of our donors. Albertans’ support of the STARS lottery is one of the ways we are able to make our patients’ heart-warming and life-affirming stories possible.

Unfortunately, the continuing stormy economic climate in the province is leading to an unsettling drop in ticket sales in the STARS lottery — a fundraiser that covers one-third of our annual operating costs. There is an urgent need for more public support of the lottery to help save lives.

“As we thank Albertans for the stories of survival their past support has created, we also urge them to continue showing STARS the love,” said STARS president and CEO Andrea Robertson. “Your ticket purchase helps us write these stories for the next patient.”

STARS recognizes that times are tough for many, so the organization is asking its loyal supporters to consider supporting the lottery by purchasing a $25 ticket this year.

Your support of the lottery has made the love story of Very Important Patient Hugh Watson possible. Watson was critically injured in an ATV-related incident and carried by STARS in 2009. “I wouldn’t have been able to propose to the love of my life, Jacqueline, if it weren’t for STARS,” said Watson. The couple felt STARS had played a significant role in their love story, and to commemorate it, had engagement photos taken at the Calgary hangar in front of the helicopter.

VIP Marcus Hirschfield, who was airlifted after his RCMP patrol car was hit at highway speed on Valentine’s Day, says community support made his rescue possible. “I’ve lived in Alberta for the past 10 years and know how much Albertans love their province. I've seen members of this community go through fires, floods and disasters and stand strong,” said Hirschfield. “STARS is an essential part of the community that we love, and our love for Alberta compels us to help members of our community in need.” STARS operates from three bases in Alberta. One-third of STARS’ operating budget is funded by lottery revenue, which netted more than $11.5 million in 2016. In the early days of STARS, the organization relied heavily on public support to get it off the ground. More than thirty years later, the organization still counts on Albertans to keep STARS in the sky for years to come.

“Today, we are facing some of the most challenging economic headwinds in STARS’ history,” said Robertson. “This year – more than ever – we ask you to once again stand with us, so we can be there for the patients who so urgently need us.”