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STARS tournament funded Fort Macleod missions

Mike Bourassa displays two plaques commemorating STARS air ambulance missions funded by the coed volleyball tournament held in Fort Macleod in April.

A charity volleyball tournament in Fort Macleod raises money for something everyone hopes will never be needed — a mission by STARS air ambulance.
The reality is the air ambulance is needed regularly and proceeds from the 2018 tournament in April have already funded two missions to Fort Macleod.
“It’s definitely a worthwhile cause that continues to be needed,” said Mike Bourassa of the tournament organizing committee.
Bourassa recently received two plaques from STARS commemorating the two missions funded by this year’s $10,835 donation from the tournament.
Each mission by the STARS air ambulance costs about $10,400.
The STARS helicopter flew to Fort Macleod on May 27 for a medical emergency.
On June 4 the air ambulance was in Fort Macleod again responding to a recreational incident.
STARS did not release further details of either mission, which were not the only times the air ambulance has flown to Fort Macleod from its base in Calgary.
“Lots of times this summer you have heard STARS coming out,” Bourassa said.
The air ambulance service is well-utilized in southwestern Alberta.
During 2016-’17 the helicopter flew six missions each to Fort Macleod and Pincher Creek, nine to Claresholm, 11 to Cardston, five to Nanton, one each to Stavely and Raymond and 74 to Lethbridge.
About 80 per cent of the STARS $10-million annual budget is funded by events such as the tournament, as well as private donations.
Bourassa said Friday planning is well under way for the 17th annual STARS charity volleyball tournament in April 2019 in Fort Macleod.
In the tournament in April, 44 teams competed in recreational, intermediate and competitive divisions and Bourassa expects to have that many teams in 2019.
“Most of them will be back and there will always be some new ones,” Bourassa said. “People keep coming back because they have a good time.”

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