Aviation donation

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A five-year, $500,000 donation from Western Coal will go a long way towards keeping the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society’s (STARS) BK-117 helicopter (pictured here) flying missions from their Grande Prairie base. STARS flew 1,453 missions last year, carrying critically ill or injured patients from Alberta and eastern B.C., including the Western Coal driver injured after a haul truck accident late last year.

“In December 2010, the STARS team helped save the life of a Western Coal employee by providing emergency helicopter transport,” said president and CEO Keith Calder, pictured holding the cheque with STARS major gifts manager Glenda Farnden. “This was the first time we saw the STARS team in action, and we learned firsthand about the important service it provides.”

With last Wednesday’s (February 23) STARS donation, the $470,000 commitment towards a Telus high speed internet connection, and other donations, Western Coal has invested more than $1 million locally over the past 12 months.

Since 1985, STARS has responded to 20,300 emergencies from its bases in Calgary, Edmonton, and Grande Prairie.