In June 2018, STARS announced fleet renewal campaign plans to purchase nine new H145 helicopters in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Today, we are more than half way to our goal after receiving a vital boost of funding from our provincial and federal government partners.
In December, 2018, the Province of Saskatchewan announced that not only is it renewing its contract with STARS for another 10 years, but that it will also commit
$13 million in capital funding to purchase one H145 helicopter for our new fleet.
Then, in early March, the Alberta government delivered $13 million to purchase an aircraft.
Later the same month, in the federal budget, the Government of Canada announced it will provide a one-time $65 million capital investment grant for our fleet renewal program.
For Brendan Robinson, vice president of major gifts and campaign with the STARS Foundation, this level of support so early in a capital campaign is remarkable.
“It’s fantastic news for us as a charity, but more importantly, it speaks volumes about governments’ confidence in the quality and necessity of the service we provide to critically ill and injured patients across Western Canada,” said Robinson. “This support is an investment in the health and safety of the people who spend time in the Prairie provinces.”
Robinson is quick to note the fundraising is far from complete.
“Government commitments have moved us closer to our goal, but we’re still counting on the community for the remaining $26 million to bring this campaign past the finish line,” said Robinson. “That is a lot of money for STARS or any charity to raise, and that’s on top of our already significant annual fundraising goals to support our day-to-day operations that allow us to be there for the next patient who needs us.”
A group of prominent volunteers is helping STARS with its community outreach. Leading the Alberta volunteer cabinet is former ATB president Dave Mowat, and steering the Saskatchewan team is Weyburn area businessman, Danny Cugnet. Entrepreneur Lionel Robins will chair the Grande Prairie efforts.
Chairing the overall volunteer campaign cabinet is the former premier of Saskatchewan, Brad Wall. Wall said he is happy to contribute to the sustainability of the organization.
“I have always been passionate about STARS and the role it plays in providing world-class emergency care to rural and remote areas in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba and eastern British Columbia. You just need to talk to one patient cared for by STARS to know how important its life-saving service is,” said Wall.
“STARS has been there for Western Canadians, and now they need everyone’s help to continue fighting for the lives of those living, working and traveling across the Prairies.”