Wednesday, 06 March 2013 14:58

Paterson Grain company a shining angel for HALO

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Whenever one hears of companies supporting a cause, the most cynical of people will say it’s because of a company’s desire for the limelight without any real connection to the charity of choice.


However, in the case of Paterson Grain, it’s far more meaningful and personal.
The company has been working with the Medicine Hat Tigers on a promotion that whenever Tigers’ offensive stars Hunter Shinkaruk and Curtis Valk score a goal, Paterson Grain donates $50 as part of the Goals for Charity campaign, a program which has been happening since its inception in 1998. The cheque presentation and final tally will be made at the Tigers’ last regular season home game versus Lethbridge March 16 (game time 7:30 p.m.) prior to the playoffs.
 Goals for Charity traditionally is divided amongst four southeastern Alberta/Medicine Hat charities.
Well, not this year:all of the money is going to HALO.
Glen Wagner, general manager of the Medicine Hat Paterson Grain terminal said the air rescue helicopter is one which directly helps its rural customer base. Wagner describes how in a couple of cases, HALO was there to help and rescue two of their direct customers from certain peril. He said the Southern Alberta MedicAir Society, which runs HALO, is an organization which is about helping not only Medicine Hat, but the rural area surrounding it. He especially likes the fact those communities north and northeast of Medicine Hat, such as Hilda, Schuler and the area surrounding Highway 41, have some emergency protection.
“We’re working with the farming community,” said Wagner. “(Paterson) is a family-owned operation and it’s all about small towns. This is a community thing. I’ve been with this company for 30 years, coached hockey and volunteered (amongst other groups). We try to help the community and this is our way of doing it. It’s not much, but at least it’s a start.”
David Friesen, HALO’s executive director, is grateful.
“We’re very excited to be at the game and feel fortunate to be capitalizing on the Tigers’ success,”said Friesen.
Wagner is hard pressed to understand why the rescue helicopter isn’t government funded. Wagner said the Southern Alberta MedicAir Society is all about caring about the emergency medical needs of southeast Alberta. Why they don’t get more publicity and financial help is something he questions.
“We’re trying to get the word out (about HALO). We figured we’d try to make some awareness (about) them,” added Wagner. “HALO is a great organization. I don’t understand why they don’t get some more help.
“Hopefully, the government wakes up and helps them.”

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor