Wednesday, 28 May 2014 15:27

Two big fundraisers for HALO set for June 13

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June 13 will be a busy day for David Friesen, executive director for the southeast Alberta/southwest Sask. Helicopter Air Lift Operation (HALO) MedEvac Rescue Helicopter.

The heavy activity will be similar to the month of May which has been booked solid for Friesen and the HALO staff with many donations. Friesen wouldn’t have it any other way as it’s typically busier as summer approaches.
“Absolutely, there does seem to be a trend where more donations come in May and June. I’m not sure what it’s like for other charities, but February and March are typically slower months for HALO donations,” explains Friesen. “As the executive director, I get a little nervous during the slow months, but our donors always come though for HALO. Thank you.
“It’s (busier too as far as public appearances go because of) a combination of us becoming more well known, and having more of a volunteer base to support these endeavours. The nature of our service is exciting, so we should be doing exciting things to help promote it and raise valuable support. We are not really changing what we are doing, but we are certainly placing emphasis on the education side of our program which informs the pubic about our missions and how we help in disaster response and search and rescue.”
Cypress Hills Park Watch ($5,000), Nexen Energy ($30,000) Connaught School, Savanna Energy ($5,000), Cenovus Safety Awards program ($5,000) , and the Medicine Hat chapter of HOG all made donations. The group also made presentations at Costco May 24. Connaught School May 21, the Southern Alberta Energy Expo May 6.
The annual Golf Classic, one of HALO’s big fundraisers, will take place at the Connaught Golf Club in Medicine Hat June 13. It kicks off at noon with a barbecue lunch and a 1:30 p.m. tee off.
Friesen was satisfied with registration numbers, but expects more to come. (Phone 403-528-9088 for more information).
“As of May 27, we are at 90 registrations for the golf tournament. The capacity is 144, so I encourage people to get their teams registered to help us sell out completely. Individual registrations are available as well,” explains Friesen. “If the tournament happens to be sold out, there are still ways to participate. Volunteers are welcome at the event to help out with various tasks.
“Our Gala in the fall is certainly the biggest fundraiser. The Golf Classic is on par with other great fundraisers like the Manyberries Spaghetti Dinner and Auction, or the AAA Fieldmen Auction. These bring in approximately $25,000 each. The generosity of our donors is really incredible. This year we are doing a bigger raffle at the golf tournament so hopefully we will raise even more money for the rescue helicopter and for medical equipment for the fixed-wing air ambulances.”
Nalco Champion will provide the barbecue lunch. There will be hole-in-one prizes including an ATV and $10,000. HALO is scheduled to be on scene from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and a Helicopter Ball Drop Raffle is planned with $1,600 in cash prizes to be awarded.
This year, they have two title sponsors. The Lions Club of Medicine Hat and Canadian Natural contributed $5,000 each to the fundraiser. Sponsorship levels start at $200 for a hole and increase from there. If companies want to donate a prize or auction item to the event, that is an option as well.
Also starting later in the day June 13 at the Jenner Arena, there’s a supper/concert/dance fundraiser for HALO. Country singer Livy Jeanne will perform.
Doors to the Jenner Arena open at 4:30 p.m.; the supper is at 5:30-7:30 p.m.; Livy Jeanne performs from 8-9:30 p.m. and a dance is from 10 p.m.-1:30 a.m.
 Tickets are $50 advance or $60 at the door. It includes a barbecue beef supper and the entertainment. Scarecrow Band will provide the music for the dance.
Interested individuals can contact Gwen for tickets at 403-898-2415, or any member of the Jenner/Buffalo Fire Club and EMR.
 They are also available at the door and buses are available to the concert from Medicine Hat and Brooks.
Much like the spaghetti fundraiser in Manyberries, the small community of Jenner appreciates the help from HALO and knows its importance. It’s heartening for Friesen to see the efforts to help HALO from the villages and small towns such as Jenner for example.
“We respond out there (Jenner) on a fairly regular basis. Without HALO, residents of this rural community would be looking at long ambulance response times of over an hour,” explains Friesen. “HALO can typically be on scene in 30 minutes. This makes a huge difference to the patient and no one knows this more than the first responders in rural areas. HALO is scheduled to be on location at the Jenner Arena for the concert.”

Read 15330 times Last modified on Thursday, 29 May 2014 11:24
Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor