Lakefest Niagara, Mercy Flight’s largest fundraising event – set for July 22nd.

July 10, 2017

Written By

Mary Friona Celani

Lakefest has been happening for 14 years! It is an amazing event that is so much fun – which is reason enough to check it out. But, of course, it is much more than just another event. It is crucial when time is of the essence. Anyone who knows me – knows that Mercy Flight is a cause close to my heart. (HERE’S WHY)

I checked in with the folks at Mercy Flight to find out just how important this event is. Scott Wooton, the VP of Finance for Mercy Flight took some time to answer a few questions.

Q: Why is this event so important to Mercy Flight?

A: LakeFest has meant so much to Mercy Flight over the years for a host of different reasons. For starters, it has been Mercy Flight’s largest fundraising event. Since its inception more than a dozen years ago, LakeFest has contributed nearly $2.5 million to support our lifesaving mission. These funds have played a critical role in our ability to compassionately provide expert emergency medical care. The costs to provide our “flying emergency room” are quite significant, but one of our guiding principles is to create no hardship for our patients and their families. Without LakeFest’s significant contributions to our operation over the years, we would have been forced to significantly increase our fees for service to remain sustainable. But beyond the dollars and cents, LakeFest has contributed so much more. Most notably, it remains one of the very few opportunities for the general public to give a donation to actually get into one of our helicopters and lift off for a glimpse of Western New York from above. Our helicopters are eye-catching and exciting, and are requested with regularity to attend local events and demonstrations – but we’re often unable to partake in these events as we must remain mission-ready 24/7. At LakeFest, we utilize and staff a spare aircraft specifically for use at the event. However, even in this circumstance, it’s possible that our spare aircraft is needed in the community, and we’re forced to pause our LakeFest helicopter rides while we respond to an emergency call. Lastly, LakeFest has been so important to Mercy Flight because it is such a unique and exciting event, and it creates the perfect venue for our pilots, medical crews, mechanics, dispatchers, and administration to say thank you to our generous donors and supporters.


Q: What can folks expect when they come to the event?

A:  This year our event returns to Niagara County, and is being held at the beautiful Town of Niagara Veterans’ Memorial Community Park at 7000 Lockport Rd. in Niagara Falls. In addition to the offer of helicopter rides, there will be live music from Joy Ride, Nick and the Nice Guys, and The Pop Show Band. There will be plenty of food and beverages available and a great Chinese auction going on all day. It’s a truly unique and spectacular event with a lot of fun things to do and see!


Q:  What do you think is the biggest misconception when it comes to Mercy Flight and its mission?

A:  It seems that many people don’t realize that Mercy Flight is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Folks often think that Mercy Flight is funded by taxes or other sources, if they even think about it at all. The fact is that we’re a charitable corporation sustained by fees for service and generous donors throughout our community. We’re a small company of about 200 employees that provide emergency medical transportation by helicopter and fixed wing jet all across Western New York, and we provide ground ambulance service under the d/b/a Mercy EMS to Genesee County, the Town of Concord and Village of Springville, and the Town of Niagara. We strive to provide the most advanced, compassionate and expert care possible in all of these arenas, and to do it in a way that does not create financial adversity for our patients. Our nonprofit status and the unwavering support we’ve received from Western New York for 36 years has allowed us to always put patient care at the top of our list of priorities, rather than profit. We do this because it’s the right thing to do, and because we’re all members of this community, too! We live, work and play in Western New York, and we understand the importance of affordable and available emergency medical care. We’re your family, your friends, and your neighbors, and we’re here for you… When Minutes Matter.

Much more information can be found on their FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE.

Tickets: $40 in advance, $50 at the door.

When: July 22, 2017 from 3 to 10 p.m.

Where: Veteran’s Memorial Park, 7000 Lockport Road, Niagara Falls

What: This 21 and over event will have food, beer, wine, soft drinks, entertainment, raffles, and helicopter rides!



About Me

Welcome to Totally Buffalo! My name is Mary Friona-Celani and I am the creator of this site! After spending 20 years in the Buffalo media, I moved on to focus on my beautiful family. Now, the time has come for a new project. I was ready for something new. Something mine.
I am born and raised in WNY and my pride runs deep. My husband, Scott and I are very happy to be raising our four daughters here.






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