It was another hot weekend in East Central Alberta and the annual Trail Ride for STARS went ahead as scheduled at the TL-Bar Ranch east of Trochu on Sunday, August 13.
"We raised just over $45,000," crowed organizer Rob Richmond. "My sister Joanne, she does all the bookkeeping, so there's still more pledges coming in, but to give a nice round number, $45,000 this year."
That's up about $5,000 over the 2016 ride, the 27th annual, and that's not the only thing that was up.
"We had 146 riders, which was up just about 50 riders over last year," recounted Richmond. "There was a few actually going to come out on top of that, but they were a little bit worried about the heat, but there were some that actually sent in their pledges anyway."
In addition to the trail ride pledges, money for the STARS helicopters was raised through meals and refreshments, a silent auction and the annual Richmond family quilt raffle, which raised more than $2,500.
"Last year we honoured a couple founders, this year we wanted to honour Ernie Goddard for all his hard work," reported Richmond. "He's the president, founder, rider, kind of everything, so we had a small ceremony at the beginning of the awards, we presented him with a small gift, a piece of artwork, and he was pretty touched by that."
Richmond also wants to thank the owners of the TL-Bar Ranch, the Lynch and Anderson families.