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15th Annual Battle River Ride for STARS to take place in Paintearth County

Ride sticking to 'same old formula'
The Battle River Ride for STARS Riders head down the trail away from the staging area at the start of the ride. The 2024 ride will take place July 13. (Black Press File photo)

A Paintearth County fundraiser is flying into its 15th year on July 13. 

The Battle River Ride for STARS has raised over $256,000 for the air ambulance service provider since its inception.

For 2024, the ride is being dedicated to the memory of Carol Thomas, who founded the ride with Marilyn Polege.

"I'm just glad I get to do something to help out and carry on mom's legacy," said Henry Thomas, who has been taking on a bigger and bigger role in the running of the ride over the last several years.

According to Thomas, entries are open but have been slow so far but he is not worried as many register the day of the ride. 

In 2023, the ride had 137 participants, a number which Thomas is hoping to exceed this year.

"I personally want to see 200," said Thomas, with a laugh.

The ride will stop and start from a field which will serve as the staging area on the south side of the Battle River in Paintearth County.

Riders will then follow trails into the river valley, crossing the river at multiple points and working their way on both sides of the river and in the neighbouring Flagstaff County. 

At the conclusion of the ride, a pulled-pork supper sponsored by a Castor business is being done by Polege and another for all the riders. For non-riders, dinner tickets will be available to purchase at the staging area. 

Thomas says that at the staging area, there will be a silent auction set up and after supper, some presentations will be made to the Thomas family for all the work it has done for the ride. 

No major changes are being planned for the ride, says Thomas.

"We're sticking with the same old formula," said Thomas.

"It works for us."

Thomas is hoping to raise $30,000 for STARS this year, a needed service no one wants to use.

Regardless of the amount raised, because of the past fundraising done by the ride, the Battle River Ride for STARS is now eligible to have its logo added to the STARS fleet of helicopters as a sponsor.

What's going to make that addition even more special is a change being made to the logo; Carol Thomas's initials are being added to the logo which will adorn the helicopters. 

For those interested in taking part in the annual fundraiser, contact the Battle River Ride for STARS on Facebook,  email Thomas at, or call 403-741-5092.

Those wanting to will be able to camp on-site for $20. 




Kevin Sabo

About the Author: Kevin Sabo

I’m Kevin Sabo. I’ve been a resident of the Castor area for the last 12 years and counting, first coming out here in my previous career as an EMT.
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