MAINE, USA — Hoping to raise enough money to "complete the fleet," LifeFlight of Maine launched its month-long fundraiser Cross for LifeFlight on August 1. LifeFlight says its goal is to raise enough money to buy a third helicopter for their fleet.
"Last year the event went virtual," LifeFlight Foundation Executive Director Kate O'Halloran said. "This is the first year we kind of reimagined, rebranded as the Cross for LifeFlight to make it so it's not just about swimming."
In past years, the fundraiser was a swim across Penobscot Bay called "The Isleboro Crossing."
On their website, LifeFlight tells participants they can choose their own "crossing." Whether it's swimming, paddling, biking, hiking, running, sailing, or even jumping, as long as it represents crossing—because LifeFlight travels across the state of Maine to provide critical care to those who need it.
Activities will be recorded on a custom tracker website.
Erin Sandler, who is a paramedic, will bike 110 miles in honor of her late brother. The 110 miles represent the distance Sandler's brother was flown from Jackman to Eastern Maine Medical Center after being injured in an accident. He died on August 6, 2020.
"It gave us the chance to say goodbye to him," said Sandler. "I'm so grateful to LifeFlight for that opportunity. I had to do this ... so there was no question in my mind."
Sandler's initial goal was to raise just $500, but she has gone over $5,000.
"I'm blown away and humbled by the love and support that family and friends have shown to this tribute for my brother." said a choked-up Sandler.
Last year more than 250 participants raised more than $300,000 to support LifeFlight.