While they may have been small in number, the participants in the seventh annual STARS Rescue on the Island proved to be mighty when it comes to fundraising as the trio of participants raised more than $223,000.

Taking on the Rescue on the Island challenge Sept. 9 were:

  • Al Babiuk – President and CEO, Loewen Windows and Doors
  • Bernhard Teichroeb – Sales and Project Manager, Wiebe’s Steel Structures, Morden
  • Sarah Normandeau – Councillor, RM of Ste. Anne/Recreational Services Manager – Town of Ste. Anne

The three participants were stranded on an island in Whiteshell Provincial Park and to secure their ‘rescue’ and return to civilization, they were challenged to fundraise as much as possible using their mobile phones and personal and corporate networks.

To allow the event to proceed during the pandemic, several safety protocols were put in place including a reduction in participants, STARS staff and volunteers taking part, social distancing and the wearing of masks.

“With the global pandemic making the world of fundraising significantly more difficult, we were absolutely thrilled and inspired by how well our participants did this year,” said Colleen Mayer, STARS’ director of development, Manitoba. “Since it began in 2013, Rescue on the Island has raised more than $1.5 million in support of STARS’ life-saving work in the province. While we appreciate each of those dollars, the funds raised this year will hold a special place in the history of our event.”

While stranded on the island, each individual participated in a series of challenges, including a simulated medical scenario and survival challenge. Throughout the day they also had the opportunity to learn more about the services STARS provides to Manitobans and the challenges faced by the STARS medical and aviation crew.

“I took part in Rescue on the Island to give back in some small way for the role STARS played in saving my daughter’s life a few years back,” said Teichroeb. “Because of the size of Manitoba, it’s critical that when someone is injured in a remote area they get to hospital as soon as they can. I would encourage others to support because you may need them one day.

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