The Rave On Buddy Holly tribute band performing.

Rave On concert will raise money for STARS

February 23, 2018 5:02 pm
Kara Kinna

Rave On, the Buddy Holly tribute band, will be performing in Moosomin on Sunday, March 18 at the Moosomin Community Theatre, and the show will be a fundraiser for Saskatchewan’s STARS air ambulance.

The show is being organized by Moosomin’s Mary McGonigal, who says she saw Rave On in the fall and liked the group so much, she wanted to bring them to Moosomin. This would be the group’s second time performing in Moosomin. Rave On was booked a few years ago by the Moosomin Shrine Club and the show sold out.

“I went to Weyburn last fall. A girlfriend of mine said ‘Why don’t you come over, there’s a Buddy Holly concert on in town, we could go to it.’ And I said why not,” says McGonigal.

“It was in an old gymnasium, and the gymnasium was full, and on the floor they kept bringing in more chairs and bringing in more chairs. And the show was excellent.

“Some shows you go to and you are sort of thinking ‘are they just about done’ or ‘my goodness it seems like I’ve been here a long time,’ and some shows are just right.

“But this one, it was a two hour show and it felt like half an hour. And the crowd just loved them so much, and I thought they were excellent. I thought why don’t I get them to come here?

“They had a brochure at the door, and I contacted one of the organizers and talked to her a bit about it. I contacted them and found out the price, and it’s expensive.

“So I decided to check with our theatre to see what the costs are and check with the paper and see what the costs were to advertise and go ahead and book it.”

Once the concert was booked, McGonigal says she put some thought into who to donate the proceeds to.

“I thought ‘what will I do with the profits,’ because you expect there should be some profits,” she says. “We get people from all towns around that come to these events, and I thought why not STARS because STARS helps everybody from every town around.”

McGonigal says she has no idea how much the show will raise but she’s hoping to make a healthy donation to STARS the night of the concert.

“I’m aiming to make $2,000 in profits to give to STARS. And STARS will be coming down. They will have a table in the lobby. They will be selling t-shirts, hoodies, and calendars, and they will also be taking donations. If anyone wants to give an individual donation, they can. They will be there at 1 pm when the doors open and stay until after the show.

“They will also have a large cheque and we will do a presentation at the intermission so that everyone that day will know how much money was made for STARS.”

Tickets went on sale last week and already ticket sales are going well.

“People are quite excited,” says McGonigal. “I’m expecting a full house. I’m feeling great about the ticket sales so far. People were already wanting to buy tickets before they got to the store.”

McGonigal says she has always noticed that shows paying tribute to legendary artists like Buddy Holly have gone over well in Moosomin.

“I think any time you have tributes to Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, those are the legends that people like to see over and over” she says.

“I chose a Sunday afternoon because a lot of people do travel from out of town and I thought they could come to the show and go to the grocery store if they need to, or gas station, and they can have supper out if they wish.”

McKay says fundraising keeps them in the air
Darcy McKay, who is from Moosomin, and who is a clinical operations manager and flight paramedic with STARS, says that STARS relies on fundraisers like the one coming up in Moosomin to keep its helicopters in the air.

“It’s really important,” he says. “It costs each base in Regina and Saskatoon about $10 million each to operate, and 50 per cent of that is funded by the Saskatchewan government. So we have to essentially fundraise $10 million a year.

“We do that through various things like calendar sales and industrial partners and things like that, but a huge portion of it is just fundraising through events like this or just general donations from the public.”

McKay says when STARS first started serving Saskatchewan, fundraising was a challenge, but now that they are established and people have needed their services in emergencies, people want to give back.

“When we first came into the province it was a challenge but when we started to fly to different communities and picked up patients from that community, that’s when the support really hit,” he says.

What does STARS do?

“It’s helicopter emergency medical services. We provide critical care to patients to get them to further advanced care, or tertiary care,” says McKay. “The skills and the tools that our medical crew have can extend the life of a patient, and also the helicopter is quick. It’s all about getting the patient to the care that they need quicker. We’re giving that patient the best chance, the most optimum care possible.”
McKay says any money donated to STARS helps cover their costs.

“It goes to several things. It goes to medications, equipment, fuel, to wages. The money that you donate goes toward the costs,” he says.

In 2017 STARS was in Moosomin 20 times, and in 2016 they were in Moosomin 21 times.

“It’s not just STARS, it’s a team—it’s the ambulance, it’s the police, it’s the fire department, it’s the staff at the Moosomin hospital,” says McKay. “It’s like a chain of survival and it takes everybody to get the best care and the best for that patient.”

McKay says it makes him happy to hear about local fundraisers being planned for STARS in his home town.

“I’m overjoyed, especially in my own community,” he says. “It’s where I’m from. And those fundraisers are what keeps us in the air. It’s going towards a good cause and it’s going towards patient use. It makes me overjoyed.”