STARS holding radiothon to fund operations

(Herald file photo)

For the first time in its history, STARS is turning to the airwaves to raise funds needed to ensure its emergency care stays in the skies.

STARS announced Monday that a two-day radiothon will run on 28 stations throughout Saskatchewan from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 21 and 22, raising funds to ensure the service can be there when patients are in need.

“This exciting fundraising event will shine a light on the life-saving work STARS carries out every day across Saskatchewan and will feature inspiring stories from STARS crew, patients and their families,” said Terri Strunk, STARS chief fundraising and brand officer in a press release.

“The radiothon will also illustrate how support from businesses, community organizations and individuals makes STARS’ critical care missions possible.”

Funds raised will go toward the purchase of two new cardiac monitors and support ongoing operations of the Regina and Saskatoon bases. The provincial government provides about 50 per cent of the needed funding to operate STARS annually. The charity is responsible for raising the remaining $10.5 million.

Saskatchewan also announced this year that it will contribute $1.4 million to STARS for a new helicopter.

STARS carries out an average of eight missions per day across Western Canada, and flew 884 missions in Saskatchewan in the last year alone.

“STARS was built by the community for the community, and when you support STARS, you ride along with us on every mission,” said Strunk. “Please tune into the radiothon to learn more about the work we do and how we need your help to continue fighting for the lives of patients when they need us most, in communities across the province.”

The radiothon is being presented by GMS, which will match the first $50,000 of donations made.

Locally, the radiothon will be carried on 101.5 Beach FM and Power 99, as well as 900 CKBI. Regionally, 107 Bolt FM, 105 CJVR and CKJH 750 will also air the radiothon.

STARS is using the stories of six VIPs — very important patients — to get their message across.

One of those VIPs is the Brons family. When the tragic Humboldt Broncos bus crash occurred in 2018, STARS responded, lifting team athletic therapist Dayna Brons to Saskatoon.

“While Dayna’s outcome wasn’t what the family had hoped for,” Dayna’s mom Carol Brons said, “STARS and the rest of the emergency response partners gave her family a gift they’ll always treasure — more time with their loved one.”

To donate, call 1-877-507-8277 during the radiothon or go to