One of the flight crew members for STARS Air Ambulance attended the Ponoka Kinsmen fundraiser supper March 2 at the Ponoka Legion to help out and be recognized. Here STARS crew member Barb Atkinson holds up one of the auction items. Photo by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

Ponoka Kinsmen held their annual fundraising auction

The event brought all of Ponoka’s movers and shakers to the Ponoka Legion

The Kinsmen Club of Ponoka continue to show they have a strong community focus.

The club held its annual fundraiser supper at the Ponoka Legion March 2 with a focus on the community as well as STARS Air Ambulance. Representatives from STARS took part in the evening gala and were able to receive a $5,000 donation from the Kinsmen.

For president Mike York, the evening is a big celebration of the many supporters of the Kinsmen’s programs. He added that provincially, Alberta’s Kinsmen support STARS.

“This is our eighth annual auction and we host this every year as kind of a thank you to the big supporters in town,” explained York.

Seeing such strong support for the Kinsmen is something York feels has to do with Ponoka’s passion for the community. “You have a bunch of like-minded individuals who want to make a change in the community and that just drives everything that they do.”

He said their support allows the Kinsmen to continue focussing on its mandate of supporting the community’s greatest need. The evening included silent and live auctions and while it’s all about the community, STARS was a special feature at the event.

STARS representative Sheyanne Levall-Crouse was proud to be able to receive the donation from the Kinsmen. “The Kin Club of Canada to-date has raised nearly $1 million for STARS, which is incredible,” she said, adding that without such support and involvement STARS would not be able to fly.

All that money goes to ensure patients are cared for, especially in the rural areas. Also part of the evening was Alea Cox and her husband. She is one of STARS’s VIPs.

“Alea was flown in June 2009 and she can probably attest first-hand the difference it made for her,” said Levall-Crouse.

Alea and her husband were driving home between Leduc and Calmar on a gravel road about two miles from their home when they were t-boned by another vehicle. She has no recollection of the accident as she was knocked out and had to go through months of physical care.

“The vehicle rolled many times into the ditch,” said Alea, adding that STARS landed in a farmer’s field to collect her.

It took crews eight minutes to fly to the University of Alberta Hospital. It saved her life.

“It meant everything. I had a brain injury. I had internal bleeding,” said Alea.

Related: STARS meets with Ponoka County on campaign for new choppers

Levall-Crouse said there are three key pieces to STARS, the VIPs like Alea, the crews who do the work and then the allies, who support the organization. “In Alberta specifically, 20 per cent of our funding comes from Alberta Health Services,” said Levall-Crouse.

The other 80 per cent comes from fundraising and events like the Kinsmen donation. Currently the organization is fundraising for the purchase of new helicopters.

York added that the Kinsmen membership is growing and he’s excited for what the future will bring.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


One of the big donations the Ponoka Kinsmen made at their fundraiser supper March 2 was this cheque for $5,000 to STARS Air Ambulance. Among those in the picture with the Kinsmen are Cheyenne Levall-Crouse (middle) and STARS VIP Alea Cox (left) who was transported by STARS from a collision in 2009. Crew member Barb Atkinson in blue coveralls was also part of the entourage. Photo by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

Just Posted

NDP Leader Rachel Notley stops in Red Deer on campaign trail

Notley promises hospital expansion, cath lab, pipelines and energy industry expansion

Police seize loaded gun in Wetaskiwin

Man arrested with homemade rifle attempt to break into a commercial property

Ponoka Chamber to host election forum

All-candidates forum for Lacombe-Ponoka set for March 28 at the Ponoka Legion

St. Michael’s Church commemoration held west of Bashaw

The celebration acknowledged the history of Hungarian settlers in the area

Remember When: When Red Thunder performed in Ponoka

Celebrating Red Thunder who performed at Ponoka’s centennial homecoming

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Another gun seized by police in Wetaskiwin

Maskwacis RCMP arrest two youths, seize firearm in Wetaskiwin

Sundre RCMP looking for 4 missing bison

A Sundre bison rancher is missing four bison from January and RCMP ask for help from the public

Targeted methane emission cut rules estimated to save billions, says CERI study

Federal government has proposed regulations for methane emission reductions from oil and gas sector

Celina Caesar-Chavannes quits Liberal caucus, sits as independent MP

The Whitby, Ont., MP has been a vocal supporter of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott

Politicians hitting the road for votes in Alberta election campaign

NDP Leader Rachel Notley and United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney have officially launched campaigns

Calgary woman convicted in son’s strep death seeking full parole

The trial heard that Ryan was dead well before his mother called 911 to say he had stopped breathing

Starbucks to test recyclable cups, redesign stores in B.C., U.S. cities

The company also said it plans to redesign its stores as it adapts to increasing mobile pick-up and delivery orders

In pre-election budget, Liberals boost infrastructure cash to cities, broadband

The budget document says the Liberals have approved more than 33,000 projects, worth about $19.9 billion in federal financing

Most Read