Three missions - that's roughly how many times STARS Air Ambulance is called upon each day in our province.

Special guests, members of the emergency service and supporters were at the launch of the 7th annual STARS lottery on Thursday in Saskatoon and Pilot Butte at the two grand prize show homes.

The day began with a welcome from Cindy Seidl, Director of Provincial Operations; she detailed how vital their service is to the Prairies and the fact that they are able to do what they do every day thanks to funds raised during their annual lottery.

Following that, Andrea Robertson, the CEO and President took to the podium and expressed her gratitude for the encouragement they've received thus far and detailed that the financial aid they receive from residents is why they're able to respond to unimaginable situations and everything in between.

"We've had example after example and this year has been a tough year, I think Saskatchewan has been hit by the recent tragic events. It's what we do every day, to be available, to be there, and to land in a place that normal vehicles can't get to," said Robertson.

Attendees laughed and cried alongside the Very Important Patient (VIP) this year as she shared her story of how STARS came to her rescue not long ago.

"It's amazing that people I never met before could play such a vital role in my life. They'll always be my flying angels, Trevor, Shane, Kevin and Ryan. From the bottom of my heart, I thank them and I thank STARS," expressed Peggy Benko the VIP for the 2018 STARS Lottery.

Benko was airlifted by STARS back in 2015 after collapsing in her office and suffering from multiple cardiac arrests due to a brain aneurysm. She said STARS was a key player in why she is alive today.

A team of Flight Nurses were at the launch as well, answering questions about what procedures they are equipped to do in the air and what it's like to be a first responder.

Some of the funds raised during the lottery each year are used to purchase necessary equipment for members of STARS to perform their job.

"Pretty much every single call we go on we're going to use our i-STAT machine, we're going to use our ventilator, we're going to give blood. Every single patient gets on a monitor, more than likely their going to receive some kind of medication from us, so every single piece of equipment in the back that helicopter on all our calls," detailed Tammy Hagerty, Flight Nurse.

Click here to purchase your STARS lottery ticket. The early bird purchase deadline is June 27th, with the draw on July 19th. The remaining draws will be made on August 2nd, with a ticket purchase deadline of July 19th.

Both show homes, located in Pilot Butte and Saskatoon, are worth over 1 million dollars each with well over 3,000 square feet.


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