STARS Air Ambulance received a major boost Thursday from the Access Credit Union Charity golf tournament. In total, the emergency service will receive close to $68,000. Golfers raised nearly $43,000 while ACU chipped in $25,000 for the cause.
STARS representative Shandy Walls says with a yearly operating budget of $10 million, fundraisers are critical, "every nickel counts."
Walls says ACU is a leader in their support network as the first corporate donor to commit a multi-year pledge. Last year STARS responded to 722 incidents in Manitoba. Walls notes for every patient they fly, 15 people's lives are forever changed. In that way, Walls says the awareness has grown in the region.
"That speaks volumes to other businesses," she says.
Now in its sixth year, ACU CEO Larry Davey says they've seen the charity event grow. This year, organizers had to turn away a number of teams because of a lack of room.
"It's something the entire staff believes in, they're happy to step up and help."
He notes STARS is the perfect partnership as they operate in the same broad geographic region as ACU's many branches across Southern Manitoba.