News / Calgary

Photos: STARS lottery home opens in Crestmont

The 24th annual fundraising event offers 3,145 prizes, including furnished homes and vacations worth of more than $4.9 million

Three years after STARS helped save her life, Matea Smid, 3, clutches her STARS teddy bear along with her sister, Keziah, 6, and parents, Terrace and Pam.

View 6 photos

zoom

Jennifer Friesen/For Metro

Three years after STARS helped save her life, Matea Smid, 3, clutches her STARS teddy bear along with her sister, Keziah, 6, and parents, Terrace and Pam.

On a cold November morning in 2013, a Calgary family’s relaxing weekend in the mountains turned into every parent’s nightmare.

Pam and Terrace Smid woke in their Canmore hotel to find that their seven-month old daughter, Matea, was suddenly critically ill.

“We would later learn that she had developed septic shock,” said Pam. “But, at the time, we only knew that we were in Canmore and Matea needed the specialized care offered in the city.”

A physician told them Matea had no time to wait, so the infant was airlifted to Calgary by Alberta’s emergency air ambulance service, STARS.

The family, including the now healthy and rambunctious three-year-old, was reunited with the STARS team on Thursday, as they offered their gratitude at the launch of the 24th annual Stars Lottery.

“Words can’t express how grateful you become in a situation like that,” said Pam. “To thank the people that contributed to saving your daughter’s life – it’s just a tremendous honour.”

The first grand prize for the 2017 STARS Lottery is a home in Crestmont worth $998,000. With cars, vacations and cash prizes on top of that, the 3,145 prizes have a total worth of more than $4.9-million.

“The STARS Lottery is our single biggest and most important fundraising event of the year,” said Andrea Robertson, STARS president and CEO. “It brings in a lot of money, and that money goes directly to keeping that red helicopter in the air.”

STARS has been operating in Alberta for 30 years, and last year alone reached 1,800 patients in 250 communities – a feat that means so much more to the people who need it.

“That day, STARS gave our family the gift of time,” Pam said. “But there have been many days since then that remind us of this tremendous gift.”

For more information and to buy tickets, go to starslotteryalberta.ca.

More on Metronews.ca