Officials with the STARS Lottery are urging Central Albertans to support the cause.
“Everyone is feeling the effect of the economic downturn and we at STARS are, too. The trends show that we are significantly behind where we were last year, which was a particularly tough year for the lottery. Last year, the last ticket was sold the day of the cut-off date,” said Fatima Khawaja, spokesperson with STARS.
“The reality is, emergencies never take breaks, regardless of the economic climate. We’re flying an average of five missions a day from our bases in Calgary, Edmonton and Grande Prairie.”
Last year, STARS flew more than 1,800 missions from their three Alberta bases to approximately 250 communities in Alberta and eastern B.C.
“For more than 30 years, STARS has been writing love stories. Every time we fly a successful mission, we help to make a love story possible for a couple, a family, a community. Every day we see love stories unfold in our hangars when our crews reunite with their patients,” said Khawaja.
The STARS Lottery fundraiser covers one-third of the organization’s annual operating costs which netted more than $11.5 million in 2016.
“As we thank Albertans for the stories of survival their past support has created, we also urge them to continue showing STARS the love,” said STARS President and CEO Andrea Robertson. “Your ticket purchase helps us write these stories for the next patient.”
STARS recognizes that times are tough for many, so the organization is asking its loyal supporters to consider supporting the lottery by purchasing a $25 ticket this year.
In the early days of STARS, the organization relied heavily on public support to get it off the ground. More than 30 years later, the organization still counts on Albertans to keep STARS in the sky for years to come.
“Today, we are facing some of the most challenging economic headwinds in STARS’ history,” said Robertson. “This year – more than ever – we ask you to once again stand with us, so we can be there for the patients who so urgently need us.”
Early bird cut off for tickets is March 1st with the final ticket sale cut-off on March 22nd.
To purchase tickets, visit www.starslotteryalberta.ca, call 1-888-880-0992 or go to the STARS show home at 22 Lindman Ave. in Red Deer.