Seven Manitoba business and community leaders will put their survival and fundraising skills to the test Sept. 12 at the sixth annual STARS Rescue on the Island.

With over $1.4 million raised since the event began in 2013, Rescue on the Island is STARS largest one-day fundraiser. The participants will be stranded on an island in the Whiteshell area of the province and throughout the day they’ll work to earn their “rescue” and return to civilization by using their mobile phones and corporate networks. They will also take part in a number of challenges to earn additional money towards their fundraising totals.

This year’s participants are:

  • Alan Butler, President, Snoman (Snowmobilers of Manitoba)
  • Mark Dufresne, CEO – The Dufresne Group
  • Emeric (Rick) J. Duha, Managing Director & Owner – The Duha Group
  • Curwin Friesen, CEO – Greenvalley Equipment Inc.
  • Brent Manning, CEO – Parallel Ag Group
  • Dr. R. Bruce McFarlane, Orthodontist, Village Orthodontics, Diplomate – American Board of Orthodontics
  • John Kelleher, General Manager – Kelleher Ford Sales

“I have come to really appreciate the importance of a Plan B. When I learned of the great work STARS was doing in our province, I also learned they are a big part of most of Manitoba’s Plan B, and we don’t even know it,” said Emeric Duha. “We, or our loved ones, often venture outside the city for a host of reasons (to live, work, for adventure, for recreation) and we simply assume that we are safe. Without STARS and other related services, the truth is we don’t have a Plan B!”

STARS Development Officer, Events, Lori Derksen said all funds raised during Rescue on the Island will help to ensure the next time a Manitoban needs world-class critical care and rapid transport, STARS will be there.

“The past few months have been among the busiest for STARS since full-time operations began in Manitoba,” Derksen said. “While the money raised during this important event will help fund the response to those calls, it also provides our organization with the flexibility to ensure when our crews are called out they have the best equipment available to them and the training to use it.”

To support any of the seven Rescue participants go to and click on the individual pages to select the participant you would like to contribute to.

Rescue on the Island is the third of three “rescue” fundraisers for STARS this year with Alberta’s CEO Rescue in the Rockies held in June and Rescue on the Prairies in Saskatchewan on Sept. 6.

STARS will bring in a backup helicopter for this event, leaving the active on-duty aircraft mission ready at the Winnipeg base.