BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Over the past four decades, Mercy Flight has helped save tens of thousands of members of our community when time is of the essence.

“That time that we can save just bypassing traffic alone with the speed of the aircraft could be the difference of whether they walk out of that hospital with good neurological outcome or walk of that hospital at all,” said Tommy LaBelle, Flight Paramedic and Clinical Outreach Coordinator with Mercy Flight. “Mercy Flight handles at least one call every three hours and every time you see us overhead, that’s a bad day for someone. Knowing that if you look up and see that aircraft, there is a medical crew inside that aircraft working hard to save somebody’s life.”

LaBelle has been with Mercy Flight for 15 years now, and he says Mercy Flight is a family that trains, studies and works hard together.

This weekend, their hard work for our community will be honored and celebrated with a party for a purpose. The Bash for Mercy Flight unites these heroes with the community they serve, while also helping raise funds to help complete their life saving missions when they receive the next critical call.

“This bash is about supporting that expensive life saving equipment, the fuel for the aircraft, the aviation mechanics the preventative maintenance of the aircraft all of this stuff is very expensive,” said LaBelle.

“This is kind of the one time of the year that we try to get together as a company and really have that close interaction with the public where we get to have a good time while we’re doing it. Not at the scene of medical emergency so to have folks come out, and to have our sponsors come and support us like this, it really means so much to us,” said Scott Wooton, Executive Vice President of Mercy Flight.

The Bash has helped raise enough money in years past, to purchase expensive essential equipment they need to respond to each call.

“It’s paramount, it’s well needed and god forbid any of us ever need those services, they need to be able to maintain their vehicles their staff, and everything else they do for the community,” said Bill Casale, CEO of Pearl Street Family of Companies.

With food and drinks, music from Nerds Gone Wild and DJ Milk, silent auction and prizes, and a firework show of “Skylighters Fireworks,” they hope the community will come show their support.

“It’s just such a great way to come out and support Mercy Flight, and have a good time at the same time,” said Wooton.

The BASH takes place Saturday, Sept. 23 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., (starts at 6 p.m. for VIP). To purchase tickets online, click here. You can also purchase tickets at the door while tickets last.

Hope Winter is a reporter and multimedia journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.