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Volleyball tournament funds STARS mission

mike bourassa displays plaque

Proceeds from a co-ed volleyball tournament paid for a STARS air ambulance mission right in Fort Macleod’s back yard.
STARS Charity Volleyball Tournament organizers learned recently the money they raised in March paid for an April 22 mission at Pincher Creek.
Tournament organizers set as a new fund-raising goal this year raising $5,400 to pay for one STARS mission.
To their delight, the tournament raised $6,100 for STARS — the highest total in the tournament’s 10 years.
“We went a different way this year,” organizer Mike Bourassa. “We were raising money for a specific flight. I’m sure that made a difference in our fund-raising. People want to be part of a goal.”
The $700 left over after paying for the flight will be put toward a similar goal in 2013.
“We could fund two flights if we have a really good year,” Bourassa said.
The STARS Fund A Flight program is becoming popular with groups that support the air ambulance. The $5,400 represents the actual average cost for a 90-minute mission by the air ambulance.
The co-ed volleyball tournament over nine years had raised to close to $24,000 for STARS, so organizers knew they had their work cut out for them to raise $5,400 in a single year.
The Fort Macleod and district community responded to the call for added support for the tournament’s 10th anniversary.
“We had some very good corporate donations,” Bourassa said.
The tournament also attracted more teams than ever before to compete in recreational, intermediate and competitive divisions.
“This was the first time I didn’t have to make a second round of calls,” Bourassa said of filling the tournament draw.
Bourassa sent the first e-mail message in January, and the tournament was full by the end of February.
Due to confidentiality reasons STARS cannot release details about the flight the tournament paid for, other than the date and general location.
“We were really happy to know that we helped somebody,” Bourassa said.
A plaque commemorating the mission was delivered to Fort Macleod that Bourassa hopes to display at F.P. Walshe school, where the tournament is held.
The goal in 2013 will be to raise enough money to pay for yet another mission.
“That’s our goal, to be able to raise enough money to do that every year,” Bourassa said.