It’s not every day a business turns 100 years old. When it does, you want to make sure to celebrate the milestone appropriately.

That’s exactly what Saskatchewan Municipal Hail Insurance did when they donated $1 million to STARS to celebrate their organization and the clients who work with them.

“We are committed to our farmer customers, and during our 100th anniversary year, we wanted to invest in an organization that is making a meaningful difference to their lives,” said CEO Rodney Schoettler. “As we thought of all the different places we could donate we couldn’t find a better fit than STARS.”

As part of a thank you from STARS for the generous gift, all our aircraft and the Mobile Education Unit in Saskatchewan are adorned with a SMHI logo.

In announcing the sizeable gift, Schoettler encouraged other organizations in the province to support STARS.

“Without corporate and community support, STARS can’t carry out its life-saving work. We challenge all businesses in Saskatchewan to contribute in whatever way they can to keep this much-needed organization in the sky.”

For Schoettler, his employees and his family, seeing STARS in the sky responding to a patient in need fills them with a sense of pride.

“STARS is so close to all our hearts,” he said. “Our clients, staff, friends and families are from various locations throughout Saskatchewan (rural and urban) many of them hunt and fish and snowmobile in remote areas.  Any of those patient stories could be any of us one day and it is comforting to know that if anything were to happen to someone anywhere in the province STARS would be there to help them.”

Municipal Hail’s donation will be directed toward the operation of STARS’ helicopter air ambulance bases in Regina and Saskatoon. The provincial government provides approximately 50 per cent of the funds needed to run STARS in Saskatchewan, meaning the STARS Foundation raises the remaining $11 million annually.

Fred Matiko, who was instrumental in developing the relationship with Schoettler and SMHI, called the partnership an honour.

“This truly is a gift to the people of Saskatchewan as it’s the donor support we receive that enables STARS to be there for the next patient in need of critical care and rapid transport,” said Matiko.  “This donation will have an impact in helping to save more lives and make a positive difference in our community.”