Sault Search and Rescue gets dizzying fundraising

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Aric Quan aims for the sky to help Sault Search and Rescue.

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The Superior Heights Collegiate and Vocational School graduate offers to shoot drone footage for Sault Ste. Marie to businesses and residents during the summer in exchange for a donation to the group that helps other organizations in emergency situations.

Quan was impressed with what he learned about the 64-year-old group during a school visit to his Crescent Industrial Park base in 11th grade.

I was really amazed by their dedication,” he told the Sault Star in a recent interview. “They save lives for free.”

Quan started using his first drone in 9th grade. He has had five, three of which are currently active.

It’s like seeing the world from a different perspective,” Quan said. “That’s the beauty of the sky. It just surprised me.

He’s photographed everything from a cruise ship docked near the Roberta Bondar Pavilion to Bellevue Park, Whitefish Island and Fort Creek Conservation Area. In June, Quan captured images of the sky during a Relay For Life fundraiser at her high school. This project can be viewed on YouTube.

Quan charges $100 for the first hour of shooting for others during his fundraiser, $30 for each additional hour, plus a surcharge if the location is outside the Sault. Quan will cover her expenses with the fees paid and donate the rest to Sault Search and Rescue. He’s “ready to cut” what he’s filming so the recipient gets “all the right” footage to keep. Quan will not edit material.

Dave Rowlinson, president of Sault Search and Rescue, called Quan’s gesture “awesome.

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It’s great to have such support, especially from young people,” he said.

Sault Search and Rescue does not charge for assistance in finding missing persons.

The group of about 40 members relies on fundraising and donations to cover its average annual expenses of about $60,000.

Sault Search and Rescue conducts 20 to 30 searches per year. Using a command post, two all-terrain vehicles and three trucks can “easily” cost $1,000 in fuel depending on the research location.

It adds up pretty quickly,” Rowlinson said.

Reach Quan to [email protected].

He begins his studies in biomedical engineering at the University of Waterloo in September. Quan wants to start his own company to develop low-cost medical devices “so they are more accessible to disadvantaged communities in Northern Ontario.”

[email protected]

On Twitter: @Saultreporter

Brandon D. James