MacDon’s Gene Fraser “Rescued” from remote island

The non-profit STARS-Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society got a financial lift from a unique fund raiser held in Manitoba on Tuesday, September 15th. More than $175,000 was raised by seven community and business leaders, including MacDon Industries Ltd. Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing Gene Fraser, after the group was flown by helicopter to the remote Carter Island near Pinawa, Manitoba.

Once on the island the participants competed against each other to raise as much funds as they could in one day using their mobile phones and personal networks. They would only be “rescued” after achieving their personal fundraising goals.

In addition to calling for donations, each participant was faced with a series of contests, including medical challenges, shelter building and a food tasting challenge.

“Seeing what goes on behind the scenes with the STARS staff was just amazing,” said Fraser. “To participate in some of those medical challenges, and see what the nurses, paramedics and doctors face out in the field gave us a unique perspective of this life saving program. It's a great cause that provides critical care for our communities, and our dealers and customers in the rural areas when needed.”

The donations help STARS continue responding to medical emergencies, and patients with serious traumatic injuries, primarily within rural areas of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Others involved in the third annual event included a City Mayor, a Farm Management Instructor, the President of Len Dubois Trucking Inc., a former professional player in the Canadian Football League, Chair of the Manitoba Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce, and a VP with construction company L. Chabot Enterprises Ltd.

“Thank you to all of the brave participants and everyone who pledged their support and donated to STARS,” said STARS Manitoba Vice President and nurse Betty Lou Rock. “The donations will help STARS to continue responding to critically ill and injured patients in Manitoba.”

The Rescue on the Island fund raiser is just one of hundreds of community-based events that happen across Western Canada every year for STARS.

Thanks to that community support, the charitable organization is able to continue providing rapid and specialized emergency care and transportation for patients in life-threatening condition. STARS flew 3,084 missions last year from its six bases, with many patients involved in agriculture related incidents.

The doctors, nurses, paramedics and pilots at STARS have responded more than 30,000 times since STARS began with one base in 1985. Today, STARS operates 24-hours a day, seven days a week from bases in Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie and Winnipeg.

Visit to learn more about the STARS program.

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