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Sluggish oil industry can’t damper STARS event

February 2, 2015  By STARS

prenticeFeb. 2, 2015, Calgary - Despite a troubling economic forecast amid falling oil prices, Canada’s energy sector showed its support for STARS Saturday night by helping to raise more than $1 million, yet again.

The long-running STARS and Spurs Gala, an annual fundraiser in
Calgary presented by the Petroleum Services Association of Canada
(PSAC), has raised more than $11 million over the past 21 years.

Mark Salkeld, president and CEO of PSAC, said he is proud of the
industry’s support for the one-of-a-kind event and credits all sectors
in oil and gas for working together to help ensure STARS is available to
be there for critically ill and injured patients.

“This year’s event was another huge success,” said Salkeld. “Our
event helps ensure that STARS’ emergency medical response services stay
in the air. Our partnership with STARS has endured two decades, and not a
wonder with the continued generosity and support of PSAC members and
the industry as a whole.”


The continued backing of individuals, corporations and the energy
industry left STARS president and CEO, Andrea Robertson feeling

“We are humbled by the support we received from PSAC and those who
participated in the gala this year,” said Robertson. “Twenty one years
and more than $11 million raised, has led to thousands of lives saved.
This partnership reflects the commitment our community has to helping

Premier Jim Prentice and wife, Karen were among the special guests in the audience, as was MLA Rick Fraser.

In a speech, Prentice addressed the downturn in the economy, noting that Albertans are “tough” and will weather the storm.

The event, held at the BMO Centre at Stampede Park, was attended by
nearly 1,200 guests, who enjoyed dancing to music by local country
singer Corb Lund and participated in an entertaining live auction, led
by auctioneer Bill Brown and his team from Elevate Auctions.

The live auction was an incredible success and a highlight of the
evening, raising $657,000 with 16 different items. The live auction
packages ranged from a Primetime Emmy Award experience to drilling
services valued at $100,000. One energy company generously spent
$268,000 on three different industry packages. Meanwhile, there were 194
items in the silent auction, which raised nearly $100,000. The silent
auction saw spirited bidding, too, with the top prize – a Paul McCartney
autographed guitar – selling for $4,600.

In addition to representatives from the energy sector, the event was
attended by a number of STARS’ volunteers and Very Important Patients.
One of those VIPs, Larry Stevens, shared his mission story with guests.

Stevens was injured in November, 2011 when he fell into an auger
while working on a farm near Stettler in Central Alberta. He was joined
on stage with STARS’ flight paramedic Ron Pasieka and flight nurse Pat
Jeffery – the air medical crew on Stevens’ mission.

The trio painted a vivid picture of Stevens’ ordeal and rescue, which
ended with him losing his leg due to the extent of the damage. Despite
his loss, Stevens said he is grateful every day.

“Before all of this happened, STARS was just a few helicopters that
flew around,” Stevens told the audience. “I will admit, I never really
donated at all but I am living proof that it really can happen to
someone you know.  I donate now more than ever and I am there to help
out STARS any chance I get.”

The Petroleum Services Association of Canada is the national trade
association representing the service, supply and manufacturing sectors
within the upstream petroleum industry. PSAC represents a diverse range
of nearly 230 member companies, employing more than 70,000 people and
contracting almost exclusively to oil and gas exploration and production

Next year’s gala, the 22nd annual, will be held on Jan. 23, 2016.


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