Just ahead of the kick-off of one of the largest fundraisers for STARS Air Ambulance in Saskatchewan, the Weyburn Rotary Club made a very sizeable donation to the service Thursday afternoon. A cheque for $5,000 was handed over to STARS representatives during a regular Rotary Club meeting at the Weyburn Legion.  

“We raised the money with our golf ball drop held last September in conjunction with the Estevan Rotary Club,” explained Jill Thorn, the president of the Weyburn Rotary Club after the presentation. 

Before the cheque presentation, Kathy Skomar and Ashley Kilback, Community Engagement Officers with STARS, talked about the air ambulance service and shared some of the stories of what they do, why they do it, and how they have impacted communities throughout the province. 

“It’s wonderful, and hearing the personal stories that they shared with us makes a big difference,” Thorn added. 

“As we’ve grown and evolved, STARS has never wavered from our mission,” Skomar said during the presentation. “Fundamentally, we believe that where you live, work, play or travel shouldn’t impact your chances of survival.” 

The members of the Rotary Club heard directly of the impacts that the air ambulance service has had in the Weyburn area. Since 2012, there have been 192 flights from STARS to Weyburn, including 20 times in 2022, 20 in 2021 and 25 in 2020. The community has also supported the organization, with $30,000 raised in recent years directly in Weyburn by individuals and organizations.  

“It is why we’re here,” Skomar said after the presentation. “We are for the community, and we’re part of the community, and we all work together. Weyburn is just so generous and we’re so thankful for your generosity.” 

The golf ball drop, an annual event held by the Rotary Club, will be making a return this September. At this time, the recipient of the money raised through the event has not been announced.