While working on his farm, Ken Matchizen frequently saw STARS flying and would often tell his family how they needed to support this important service.

In May of 2020, tragedy struck the Matchizen family when Ken passed away suddenly while seeding on the family farm. Through their grief, the Matchizens remembered Ken’s wish to support STARS and turned his words into action.

In Ken’s memory, his wife Betty and sons Blair and Kevin seeded 20 acres of wheat with the proceeds to be donated to STARS. The proceeds from the crop alone raised $11,900, but there was more to come. The Matchizens’ neighbours contributed an additional $3,350, for a total donation of more than $15,000 to STARS.

This is just one of countless examples of the generosity of STARS’ allies in the agriculture community.

Canada is one of the largest agricultural producers and exporters in the world, and more than half the farms in this country are in Western Canada. With agriculture such a prominent industry in the region that STARS serves, it’s no surprise that STARS has a very special and important relationship with agricultural producers.

STARS supports rural and remote areas by providing access to the very best critical care available when it’s needed most. In turn, the agriculture sector has been a steadfast supporter of STARS and the lifeline it provides to farming communities. This is true even when the industry is facing challenges, as it has been this year due to a severe drought across large parts of Western Canada.

The support of the agriculture sector is something that Shari Lemon, donor relations and development officer for STARS in Saskatchewan, sees every day. “The commitment of our allies in agriculture is truly inspiring,” said Lemon. “Whether through our Growing for STARS program, support for events like our Rescue fundraisers, or even local initiatives in their communities, they are dedicated to supporting STARS.”

Everyone at STARS is grateful for this support and offers a simple but heartfelt thank you to all of our allies who live and work in agriculture across Western Canadian for their recognition and support of the incredible impact STARS has on their communities.


The term “praying for rain” has been around for generations, but it took a modern twist recently when a Saskatchewan farmer shared his wish for precipitation on Twitter – and turned it into a fundraising challenge.

Rob Stone posted a challenge on the social media channel calling on fellow farmers to join him in donating $1,000 to a charity of their choice if it rained half an inch or more by May 25. Stone’s challenge was taken up by many, and STARS was among the charities selected by a number of those participating.

Thankfully for all, the rain that was hoped for did come. Our allies in the agriculture sector benefited from some much-needed moisture, and STARS raised several thousand dollars to support our life- saving mission as a result.