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Donation helps keep HASAR in its home

Story Credit: The Goderich Signal StarDonation helps keep HASAR in its home

A $10,000 donation made by a group of five local insurance companies is helping to keep Huron Area Search and Rescue (HASAR) in its home.

“This is huge for the Huron Area Search and Rescue,” said HASAR co-founder Patrick Armstrong. “We are now able to afford rent, which is a struggle for all volunteer organizations.”

HASAR, a volunteer search and rescue organization, assists in searches for missing or lost persons. The organization includes Huron County’s only certified rope, swift-water and ice rescue team, and is also a Canadian Coast Guard auxiliary.

The donation was made by a group of five local Huron County Mutuals insurance companies, including Axiom Mutual, Howick Mutual, McKillop Mutual, Usborne and Hibbert Mutual and West Wawanosh Mutual. Armstrong said the donation is the first of two expected from the companies, and that another $10,000 will be donated in 2024 to continue to support HASAR and cover the organization’s rental costs.

In a statement, the insurance companies noted “the services and expert training that HASAR provide to Huron County and surrounding area are infinite and the Huron County Mutuals … are proud to partner together to donate a total of $20,000 divided over two years, so that HASAR is here when we need them.” Armstrong said the donation acted as a reminder of the importance of shopping locally, and that local businesses often give back to the communities they serve and provide support for local groups such as HASAR.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “It’s proof that they give back to the community.”

Though the donations will help to maintain a place for HASAR to store vehicles, Armstrong said the organization’s headquarters in Goderich also includes important training tools that prepare its team for rescue operations.

“We also use it as a rope training centre, and we have a pretty highend vessel simulator that we use for our coast guard auxiliary training,” he said.

HASAR announced the installation of a new vessel simulator in April at its headquarters, which is named after Kearwood White, a Goderich Jail guard who was killed in 1941 in the line of duty. The simulator allows year-round training in areas such as navigation, marine electronics use, manoeuvring and search patterns.

For more information about HASAR, visit www.hasar.ca.