Calgary

STARS thanks Albertans with decals on helicopters for $11.5M lottery proceeds

STARS Air Ambulance is thanking Albertans for coming to the rescue when the non-profit organization’s annual fundraising lottery was in danger of coming up short.

Annual fundraiser was in danger of not selling out when non-profit issued a plea

STARS Air Ambulance has put decals on its aircraft to thank Albertans for stepping up and buying all the tickets for its annual fundraising lottery, which had been suffering the effects of the poor economy. (STARS )

STARS Air Ambulance is thanking Albertans for coming to the rescue when the non-profit organization's annual fundraising lottery was in danger of coming up short.

STARS is putting a decal on all its helicopters that says, "Times are tough, Albertans are tougher" as a show of gratitude now that all the tickets have been sold.

As soon as STARS issued a plea to Albertans in February, the response was overwhelming — the phone lines were jammed and traffic to the website surged, the organization says.

"More than $2 million worth of tickets were purchased in just three short days," STARS said in a release.

"With just hours to spare before the deadline, the last ticket was sold, netting our non-profit more than $11.5 million."

The thank-you decals have been placed underneath the nose cone of the BK117 helicopters and under the tailboom of the AW139 helicopters so they are visible when the aircraft passes overhead, STARS says.

"We hope that when you hear a STARS helicopter flying above, you look up and know this decal is there as a symbol of our gratitude to you."

The 23rd annual STARS lottery awards prizes such as luxury homes, vehicles and dream vacations.

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