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Mardi Gras event wildly successful

Edmonton-based jazz band, Retrofitz plays swinging New Orleans-jazz music as HERO chair Paul Spring, top right, looks on at the Mardi Gras fundraising event for the local HERO foundation on Saturday at the Shell Place Grand Ballroom. Photo provided by The HERO Foundation.

Saturday brought jazz music, feathers, Cajun spice, beads, and a carnival atmosphere to Shell Place Saturday night.

Decorators transform the Grand Ballroom into Bourbon Street for Mardi Gras, presented by Suncor.

This year’s fundraiser for the local HERO foundation had a lot to celebrate receiving $245,000 in donations.

The funds will support Northeastern Alberta’s only 24/7 helicopter emergency medevac service at no cost to patients.

Paul Spring, Chair of HERO, said the money raised would fund most of the life-saving flights in Wood Buffalo this year.

“The Speed of Life Campaign, equating one hour of life-saving medevac services to $1200 in flight costs, just brought in the equivalent of 60 saved lives in one night! This community is so generous.”

Guests were treated to a special Louisiana menu full of Cajun and Creole-inspired dishes.

Also, they participated in a live auction featuring ten unique gifts and experiences.

Meanwhile, Edmonton-based big band Retrofitz provided lively musical entertainment as Mardi Gras revellers danced the night away.

Facts and figures

  • In the first quarter of 2019 alone, 21 medevacs flew in patients with serious injuries or critical illnesses.
  • The new helipad at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre saved an average of 20 minutes travel time for those patients
  • HERO projects the date of their next fundraiser to be May 2, 2020.