Gateway Gazette

STARS celebrates 30 years of Care in the Air

 

STARS' first patient VIP Kelly Waldron cutting the 30th anniversary cake with STARS founder Dr. Greg Powell and his wife Linda
STARS’ first patient VIP Kelly Waldron cutting the 30th anniversary cake with STARS founder Dr. Greg Powell and his wife Linda

Calgary, AB – Over 1,200 Calgarians, including government officials and first responders, flooded the Calgary base for an open house on Saturday to celebrate STARS’ 30th anniversary. Children posed for photos with STARBEAR and a STARS helicopter. STARS Pilots and Air Medical Crew members answered questions about our helicopters and mission stories. Guests toured the state-of-the-art Emergency Link Centre and Mobile Education Unit.

This open house was just one of a number of events STARS is holding to mark our 30th anniversary. Mary George from Calgary attended the open house at the Calgary base. “We really enjoyed the open house. The helicopter returned from a mission while we were there,” said George. “I loved seeing the pictorial history on the walls. The staff and volunteers did an awesome job and were very informative. I recommend taking the opportunity to take a tour if you ever get the chance. If you did not support the cause before, you will after learning about everything they do.”

Mascot STARBear with STARS flight nurse Kellie-Ann Vogelaar and her daughter at the STARS Open House in Calgary
Mascot STARBear with STARS flight nurse Kellie-Ann Vogelaar and her daughter at the STARS Open House in Calgary

For the last 30 years, the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS) has provided safe, rapid, highly specialized emergency medical transportation to critically ill and injured patients in western Canada. Founded in 1985 with only one base in Calgary, AB, STARS now operates from six bases in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

Kelly Waldron, STARS’ first patient, shares her birthday with STARS and told the crowd her mission story. In 1985, Kelly was transported by STARS from Lethbridge, AB to the Foothills Hospital in Calgary as a premature baby, within hours of being born. “I’ve had the opportunity to travel around the world and recently got married. None of this would have been possible if I hadn’t been flown by STARS that day.” A number of STARS VIPs (Very Important Patients) attended the event to volunteer and share their own mission stories with the public.

STARS flew its 30,000th mission this year, which would not have been possible without the unwavering support of a wide range of donors, partners and the community. STARS is a charitable, non-profit organization funded by donations from individuals, municipalities, businesses and service groups as well as collaborative agreements with provincial governments.

Andrea Robertson, president and CEO of STARS, chatted with visitors on Saturday and took time to thank

STARS President and CEO Andrea Robertson with a young visitor at the STARS Open House in Calgary. STARS’ helicopter BK117 is in the background
STARS President and CEO Andrea Robertson with a young visitor at the STARS Open House in Calgary. STARS’ helicopter BK117 is in the background

the crowd and all of STARS’ community partners for their support. “We decided to open our doors on our 30th anniversary, because STARS wouldn’t exist without the support and generosity of the community. I’m often asked about who owns STARS.  STARS belongs to everyone who lives, works and travels in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba,” said Robertson. “We think it is very important to celebrate the community for the faith they put in STARS every day. Here’s to the next 30 years!”

About STARS

STARS provides specialized emergency medical care and transportation for critically ill and injured patients. Our physicians, nurses, paramedics and pilots work with a team of dedicated support staff and community partners to save lives. STARS has bases in Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg.

STARS logo

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