The cover of the STARS air ambulance 2012 fundraising calendar.

STARS fundraising in Golden

STARS air ambulance will be in Golden in September, selling their fundraising calendars.

The Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS) will be in Golden until Sept. 23 to promote their annual calendar campaign.

This is the 19th year for the fundraiser, which wells approximately 100,000 calendars each year, and raises over $3 million for the charitable, non-profit organization.

Volunteers will be canvassing door to door in the early evenings and weekends, and the calendar will also be available at Overwaitea and Sobeys.

Calendars will be on sale for a $30 donation, which includes a sleeve of STARS bandages.

“We’re fortunate that we have STARS who will actually come into our province and respond to things, I think all the way to Roger’s Pass. For us to get another critical team, it typically comes out of Kamloops, and that’s a much longer flight time for us. Then those patients end up in a Kelowna or a Kamloops hospital, and not in that tertiary care like at Calgary Foothills, which is probably a superior hospital on a trauma level,” said Shauna Speers, a paramedic with BC Ambulance in Golden, and president of Golden and District Search and Rescue (GADSAR).

STARS air ambulance transfers patients in need of critical care from the Golden hospital, often patients with  major traumas, cardiovascular emergencies, strokes, even impending births that may be difficult. They will also meet with ambulance on the highways and take patients directly to hospital.

“For us to do anything by ground takes about three hours. So for anything that’s time sensitive, they’re going to try to get STARS in,” said Speers.

Although the group does have some corporate sponsorship, fundraising is a major part of what keeps the program running.

“The calendar drive is a huge producer of funds for them. Working for a not-for-profit like GADSAR, the fundraisers are sometimes your bread and butter for things. So if we can help out locally at all, I definitely encourage people to do so. We’re so isolated here in Golden… to get that advanced level of support that we get through STARS is a great benefit,” said Speers.