Five people in Saskatchewan raised tens of thousands of dollars to support STARS air ambulance as part of the fifth annual Rescue on the Prairie, held on Sept. 5 at a remote location east of Saskatoon.
The five participants were required to each raise $50,000 to secure their rescue and return to civilization.
Collectively, the group raised $360,000.
“Saskatchewan needs STARS,” said Tereen Mowrey, an account executive with Henderson Insurance and one of this year’s participants.
“I often say it’s not about if, it’s about when someone that you know is touched or saved by STARS.”
Participants took part in a number of challenges, including flight readiness, simulated medical and aviation scenarios and a scavenger hunt.
Janna Dutton said the challenges allowed her to learn more about the organization.
“(Thursday) has been magnificent … trying to understand what a day in the life of the crew is like,” said Dutton, a Tim Horton’s franchisee.
“As the donations are coming in … it makes me a little bit emotional.”
STARS CEO and president Andrea Robertson said 50 per cent of its annual funds to operate bases in Saskatoon and Regina is raised through events like Rescue on the Prairies.
“It takes a village to keep STARS in the air, and this is a gigantic event for us,” said Robertson.
On top of the money raised on Sept. 5, a former participant in the challenge made a $1-million donation to STARS.
Grant McGrath, president of Western Sales, said it is important to support a service that is vital to Saskatchewan.
“Western Sales is so thankful for the passion, dedication and professionalism of the STARS team for carrying out these most vital services in the province, and we want to ensure they are able to do their job for years to come,” McGrath said.
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