STARS helicopters in Manitoba are sporting a new logo these days, thanks to a generous gift from a Winnipeg-based business.

MacDon Industries Ltd.’s gift will fund much needed enhancements of our local base facilities including a crew education centre with a medical simulation lab, classroom, and improved training areas as well as a permanent structure to house STARS’ daily operational crew, educators, and foundation team.

Officials with MacDon – a manufacturer of specialty agricultural harvesting equipment – and STARS unveiled the logo on the iconic red helicopters in March at the STARS Winnipeg base. The event marked a new milestone in MacDon’s belief in our mission, having already been a strong supporter for many years.

“We are committed to the safety and well-being of our dealers, our customers, and our employees, and we are proud to support an organization that is making a meaningful difference to their lives,” said Gene Fraser, vice president. “This investment will help to continue providing an important health-care service to people in the hundreds of communities we serve around the province and across Western Canada.”

Indeed, the need for our service continues to grow in Manitoba every year, with the Winnipeg base carrying out 619 missions in the 2016-17 fiscal year and on track to fly more than 700 missions in the 2017-18 fiscal, said STARS president and CEO, Andrea Robertson.

“Your support is an investment in the health, safety and longevity of rural Manitoba and beyond,” said Robertson. “You are helping to keep families and communities together.”

In announcing the gift, Fraser encouraged other businesses to support the non-profit helicopter air ambulance service.

“STARS is there for all of us – those living and working in rural and remote areas, but also urban folks travelling on our many roads and highways for work or pleasure. They also provide emergency medical training to rural emergency health care professionals and outreach to other partners in the chain of survival,” he said.

Manitoba’s Minister of Agriculture, Ralph Eichler commended MacDon for its leadership.

“I encourage all Manitobans to continue to support STARS. Their commitment to providing excellent emergency health care and transportation is so important to all of us in rural Manitoba,” said Eichler.