The agriculture sector is supporting a new event to raise money for STARS, the non-profit helicopter air ambulance organization.
Field of STARS will be held at AG in Motion on July 17th, which is the first day of the outdoor agricultural event near Langham, about a 20 minute drive northwest of Saskatoon.
The evening will feature dinner, a live auction and a concert by CCMA award-winning country artist, Brett Kissel.
“It’s not your traditional gala,” says Kim Kroll-Goodwin, manager of events for STARS in Saskatchewan. “It’s not your traditional ‘come in your fancy clothes, sit down and have a fancy meal.’ It’s ‘come as you are, have a great time and support STARS.”
Field of STARS is patterned after a long-running fundraiser by the petroleum industry in Calgary. Oilfield service companies donate their products and services. Oil companies bid on them in an auction and all proceeds go to STARS in Alberta.
Ben Voss is the president and CEO of Morris Industries and a member of the STARS volunteer board of directors in Saskatchewan. He pitched the idea to all of the farm supply companies; machinery, inputs and all of the services that go into agriculture.
“STARS is a life-saving service that all farmers on the Prairies rely on to be there for them should they ever need it. We wanted to bring out industry together to raise money for STARS, so it can continue to be our lifeline in a medical emergency.”
Voss expects farmers to be active bidders during the auction.
“It’s really not that much of a charitable issue because the farmers are going to need these inputs anyway and the money will go to STARS.”
In addition to donating products for the auction, agricultural companies have already snapped up three-quarters of the 1200 available tickets for the gala. Many of those $175 tickets will be distributed to farmer customers. Some will also be available for purchase through the STARS Foundation.
The Saskatchewan government provides about half of the annual funds needed operate the helicopter air ambulance service. The remaining $10.5 million is raised through donations, lotteries and fundraisers.