“An amazing car for an amazing cause”: the fundraising effort for STARS launched at Humboldt
HUMBOLDT – A bespoke Ford Mustang’s journey to raise money for the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS) began at a Humboldt car dealership.
On June 3, the vintage vehicle, transported in a specially decorated trailer with the celebrity ambassadors of the project, entered Discovery Ford. It will serve as the centerpiece of a road show hosted by the Pegasus Project – a group of automotive enthusiasts who support the work of STARS and other first responders – which will stop in some 30 communities across the province. .
In January 2022, the vehicle will be sold at the world-renowned Barrett-Jackson charity auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“Today marks the culmination of tremendous hard work and dedication by so many and the beginning of the exciting journey of sharing this project with Saskatchewan,” said Vaughn Wyant, Co-Chair of the Pegasus Project. “It’s an amazing car for an amazing cause, and we’re both passionate and proud to see it here at Humboldt.”
The roadshow will now only raise funds for STARS, but also for local first responders.
Wyant was involved in a similar effort in 2014, when a custom-built F-100 “Snakebit” was sold at Barrett-Jackson auction for $ 450,000 to raise funds for the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan.
After this effort, Wyant said he was approached to do it again. By that time, the April 6, 2018 Humboldt bus collision had occurred and Wyant said he knew STARS must be the beneficiary of their efforts.
“The bus crash is not the reason we fundraise for STARS, but the bus crash is the genesis.”
Wyant said about $ 2 million has been raised, with contributions of $ 500,000 made by Conexus Credit Union and MNP.
“We’re really excited for today and we just think the summer is going to bring us a lot of money. I would love to end the summer by saying we’re at $ 3 million and what is it going to be? Maybe $ 4 million.
Kaleb Dahlgren is one of the celebrity ambassadors. Humboldt bus crash survivor was present at the event, signing his book crossroads, part of the proceeds of which will go to STARS.
He said he didn’t think STARS gets enough credit, so he wanted to raise awareness.
“The sad part is, I didn’t even know the services they were providing until I needed them,” he said.
“I think today in our world we have to shed light on the things that really matter and I think there is nothing more precious than a second chance in life, so for me , it was something that was obvious, and I wanted to be part of this project.
Other famous ambassadors supporting the effort are actor Kim Coates and former Saskatchewan-born NHL players Brayden Schenn, Luke Schenn, Tyler Bozak and Jayden Schwartz.
STARS is replacing its fleet of BK117 and AW139 aircraft with nine new medically equipped Airbus H145 helicopters at a cost of $ 13 million each. The air ambulance organization took out loans to buy the plane and is now raising funds to repay the loans.
Andrea Robertson, CEO of STARS, said the project is a demonstration of the Saskatchewan spirit: where people see a need, come together and find a solution.
She said they flew in planes bought in 1985.
“Truth be told, people can fly planes for a very long time, but the people who made them weren’t making the parts anymore, so when something’s wrong you don’t want it to be three in the morning when we have to come and we don’t have a room available, ”she said.
“We have undertaken this huge undertaking of trying to figure out when should we replace, and the deadline for the replacement is 2022.”
Robertson said they should be flying in the new plane in a few weeks.
Scott Moe, Premier of Saskatchewan, was also in attendance.
“This is really what Saskatchewan is: people coming together to support each other, to support the services that are so important in our communities across this province like STARS and the service it provides to people. people and families, ”he said.
The premier said the province has earmarked $ 12 million this year for STARS.
“Today, I would make this promise to you: our government will continue to support STARS as long as we have the privilege of holding a position in this province, and you can take it home.”
Morgan Gobeil, another survivor of the collision, and his family were also present. Morgan’s dad, Lonnie Gobeil, shared how STARS provided fast transportation to the medical staff they needed. He also told the audience that Morgan continues to recover and improve with each day.
“The reason we’re here today is STARS,” he said.
“STARS has an impact on lives. This project will ensure that the mission of doing what is best for [very important patients] will remain the objective in the future, [using] the best people and the most up-to-date fleet possible.
Morgan’s brother Ryan Gobeil will be driving the trailer across the province this summer.
“We are committed to doing our part to ensure that STARS stays in Heaven to help others in need when the unthinkable happens,” he said in a press release.
As for the centerpiece itself, it is a custom built 1968 Ford Mustang 427 Coupe.
“In the collector’s world, Mustangs are, on the domestic side, probably the most collectable vehicle you can get,” Wyant said. “This would be called a resto mod, which means it’s a modified restoration. It is a modern car in an old chassis.
Wyant said the car will have the usual sound, but will drive much better than a stock Mustang 68 with its modern suspension, electronics and fuel injection. He said people are getting these cars back and will pay a lot of money for them.