Saskatoon, August 25, 2017 — More than $540,000 was raised by six Saskatchewan business and community leaders at the third annual Rescue on the Prairie fundraising event for STARS air ambulance, held Thursday at a remote prairie site east of Saskatoon.
The participants were airlifted by STARS to the western-themed location Thursday morning. To secure their ‘rescue’ and return to civilization, they needed to raise at least $50,000 each using their mobile phones and personal networks.
“I’m very proud to be a part of this event, and [proud of] the support of people who have donated to this, especially within my community,” said Weyburn area businessman Dan Cugnet. “STARS is an amazing thing that I think everybody in this province gets behind.”
Sharon Sharpe-Titus said STARS represents hope to so many people and that the non-profit needs to be supported so it can continue to be there for those in need. “I believe STARS is a vital service, and I believe it’s a worthy cause, because none of us know when we’re going to be in a situation where we need STARS’ help,” she said.
Each individual participated in a series of challenges, including a flight readiness race, a simulated medical scenario with four procedures including an intubation and CPR on a mannequin; a fundraising challenge to see who could raise the most money over the phone in forty-five minutes; and a calf roping competition. Winners of the challenges received sponsored cash prizes to go toward their individual fundraising totals.
The opportunity to learn more about STARS’ operations hands-on through the challenges enabled some of the participants to gain a deeper appreciation for the organization and its importance.
“My understanding of the need and necessity of STARS changed,” said Betty Anne Latrace-Henderson. “I used to see a big red helicopter in the sky going to an accident, but I didn’t realize the impact of how STARS can save lives.”
This year’s brave participants include:
• John Salmond – President and CEO, Group Medical Services
• Dan Cugnet – Chair of the Board, Valleyview Petroleums Ltd.
• Betty Anne Latrace-Henderson – President, Airline Hotels
• Sharon Sharpe-Titus – Co-Founder, ESP Salon Sales and Founder, SST Cosmetics Inc.
• Marc Routhier – Area Manager of AECOM, Southeast Saskatchewan and Manitoba
• Jason Hintze – Vice President of Sales, Western Sales
The public was encouraged to help ‘rescue’ their favourite participant by donating at rescueontheprairie.ca.
“For the third year in a row, our participants and the community have surpassed all expectations to make Rescue on the Prairie so successful. We are incredibly grateful for their generosity,” said Denise Belman, executive director of the STARS Foundation, Saskatchewan.
“Our organization relies on community support to operate. Funds raised from this event will help us to keep more families and communities safe and intact.”
In Saskatchewan, STARS needs to raise 50 per cent of its operating funds – about $10.5 million annually – to operate the Regina and Saskatoon bases. This is achieved through corporate sponsorship, fundraising and community support.
Rescue on the Prairie has become the organization’s largest one-day fundraiser, raising more than $1.5 million in its three years of existence. It is the first of three “Rescue” fundraisers for STARS this summer, with Rescue on the Island being held in Manitoba on September 14 and CEO Rescue in the Rockies in Alberta on September 29.
STARS had a backup helicopter brought in for this event, while the active on-duty aircraft remained mission ready at the Saskatoon base.
STARS is a charitable, non-profit helicopter air ambulance organization that provides time, hope and life-saving support to critically ill and injured patients. Our doctors, nurses, paramedics and pilots work with a team of dedicated support staff and community partners to save lives through rapid and specialized emergency medical care and transportation. STARS operates out of six bases across western Canada, where it has carried out more than 36,000 missions since 1985. STARS has flown more than 4,000 missions to over 500 communities across Saskatchewan since establishing bases in Regina and Saskatoon in 2012.
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Communications Lead, Saskatchewan
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