Park for STARS aims for milestone on Stampede’s 100th birthday
Everyone loves a little extra cash for deep fried specialties, so why not save a bit of dough and support a worthy cause at the same time? For 18 years, STARS air ambulance has been benefitting from the best kept secret during the Calgary Stampede. Park for STARS, organized by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Calgary Civic Union Coalition, is a ten day fundraiser that charges visitors a mere $15 to park in one of the greatest locations near the grounds.
Since the fundraiser began in 1993 it has raised over $420,000, including $53,000 in 2011. With this year being the biggest Stampede in history, organizers are hoping that the $500K milestone can be reached. “”I can’t believe we’ve raised this much in 18 years,” said Karen Stoshnof, IBEW assistant business manager. “STARS is near and dear to our hearts. Numerous IBEW members have been flown.”
The Park for STARS lots are located at 2808 Spiller Road S.E. and 625 25 Avenue S.E. Drivers can park during weekdays from 5 to 11 p.m. and weekends from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. Park for STARS opens on July 5 and finishes on the Stampede’s closing day, July 15.
This year, two special additions have been made that will hopefully increase users, and donations. “We’ve secured more spaces, about 200, and we have a shuttle that will transport people to and from the grounds. Even though we are already really close, this will help save people some time and effort,” Stoshnof added. “For $15 we are providing parking and dropping you off right at the door.”
For the IBEW, it’s all about making sure everyone has access to help when they need it. “We are a union of hearts and minds. We stand for making our city and province a better place. Our members are committed to doing important things for the community,” Stoshnof said. “If we can accomplish what we have in only 18 years, just think of what others can do for STARS. All it takes is dedication.”
On Saturday, July 7, join the STARS crew, our Mobile Education Unit, and former Stampede Princess and STARS patient Janelle Phillips at the Park for STARS lot from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. to learn more about how STARS helps save lives.