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City supports Grande Prairie STARS base with $50,000

The City of Grande Prairie is again supporting STARS Air Ambulance to the tune of $50,000.

Major gifts manager Glenda Farnden says funding from local municipalities is essential to their operation, and the City was the first to surpass the $500,000 giving mark.

“Originally when we came to Grande Prairie it was strictly because of funds that were provided by industry. Going forward from there was when we really reached out to the communities; we reached out to the smaller businesses as well as all of the municipalities and the towns.”

When the STARS Air Ambulance base in Grande Prairie first opened in 2006, it was expected they would head out on 50 to 60 missions a year, but in the first year they flew 150 missions, and now average more than 300.

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More missions cost more money, but Farnden says they do their best to be cost-effective.

“We have a lot of people at this base that wear more than one hat, so they have hybrid roles in order to mitigate those costs. Continuing to see wherever we can work together, work with our community, a lot of operational gifts-in-kind that support the base.”

STARS has approached city council, asking for their annual contribution to be doubled for the next two years.

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