MNP partners personally donate $500,000 to STARS Pegasus Project

STARS flew 40 missions last year to Prince Albert

(Left to right) Andrea Robertson, STARS President and CEO; Trevor Friesen, MNP Partner, Saskatoon; Byron Mack, MNP Regional Managing Partner, North Saskatchewan (Submitted photo)

A MNP office managing partner in Prince Albert is proud to be a part of a group from the company that collectively donated $500,000 to STARS air ambulance from their personal funds.

Kelly Disiewich said the donation was coordinated by Trevor Friesen, a managing partner in Saskatoon.

The funds will go towards the Pegasus Project, which is attempting to raise enough funds to replace STARS aging fleet of helicopters. The project was started by Saskatoon businessman Vaughn Wyant and involves building a custom 1968 Ford Shelby Mustang. The car will be sold at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona according to Jeri-Lynn Johnston, director of donor relations and development at STARS.

“It’s aligned perfectly with what STARS is – built by the community for the community.”

STARS is moving from a dual platform of flying two models of aging helicopters to a unified platform of flying the H145 helicopter model. The H145 Airbus is a better long term option for STARS in terms of maintenance schedules, cost, and training of pilots, said Johnston.

“It’s a helicopter that we know will take us and be here for generations to come and is sustainable for us moving forward to ensure that we’re here for the next patient that needs us,” said Johnston.

STARS needs a total of nine medically-equipped H145 helicopters, which cost $13 million each.

The initial campaign costed $138 million but STARS has since received $65 million from the federal government and commitments from the provincial governments of Saskatchewan and Alberta. STARS will also be selling their existing fleet. The company needs to fundraise about $10 million dollars to reach their goal, according to Johnston.

Disiewich said a core belief at MNP is to support the communities the employees work and live in. He added that STARS and MNP serve the same communities, which led to the donation.

Another reason for MNP to donate to STARS was their response during the 2018 Humboldt Broncos tragedy.

“We got an office in Humboldt and we’ve got a lot of people that were connected to them and we saw the impact that STARS had on that tragedy, how they were able to enable first responders to save more lives,” Disiewich said.

Johnston said the donation from MNP makes a huge difference and impact.

“We’re just so extremely humble when we receive donations whether it be a lemonade stand, a birthday fundraiser, or it be a major partner gift like the one from MNP and just to sum it up we just like to say thank you to the community because STARS is here because of the community support we’ve received,” Johnston said.