SASKATOON – As STARS ascends to the skies to care for critically ill and injured patients in brand new, state-of-the-art helicopters, it’s due in part to the generosity of those who provide vehicles that take to the road, according to a STARS press release.
Prairie Ford Dealers and Ford Motor Company of Canada were recognized today at the STARS base in Saskatoon for their combined $500,000 contribution to the non-profit air ambulance’s Keep the Fight in Flight campaign to renew its fleet of aging aircraft.
The support was provided through the Pegasus Project – a multi-year initiative led by several Saskatchewan business and community leaders and car enthusiasts, which has raised $3 million for STARS’ new fleet of Airbus H145 helicopters.
“The Humboldt Broncos bus accident in 2018 was a tragedy that devastated the community, the province and the whole country,” said Bev Goodman, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company of Canada, Ltd.
“Amidst such devastation, this community-focused group of dealers and businesspeople from across Saskatchewan found a way to take long-lasting positive action to support critical health services.”
Ford Canada provided initial funds to help with the build of the Pegasus Project car – the locally-built, one-of-a-kind Ford Mustang 427 fastback featured at today’s event – and more than 30 Prairie Ford dealers provided the remainder through donations and fundraisers over the course of a months-long road show to boost awareness for STARS and local first responders.
“On behalf of my co-chair, Wayne Halabura and our entire Pegasus Project team, I want to say what an honour and pleasure it has been to work with STARS on this initiative, and I thank everyone for their timeless dedication over the past three years,” said Pegasus Project co-chair Vaughn Wyant.
“To my Ford dealer friends across Saskatchewan, words cannot fully express our gratitude to you for stepping up and helping make this dream a reality. You join us in recognizing that STARS saves lives every day, touching all communities of this great province,” Wyant said. “My heartfelt thanks to the wonderful and courageous men and women of STARS. Without you, none of this would be imaginable.”
The Pegasus Mustang was featured on the Ford display stage at the international SEMA convention in Las Vegas in November 2021 and eventually sold in January 2022 at the world-famous Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz. The winning bid was from Saskatchewan businessman and philanthropist Gord Broda for an astounding $1 million – a world record for the sale of a 1968 Mustang.
“Everyone involved in this amazing, community-led initiative – from the Prairie Ford dealers and Ford Canada to Vaughn, Wayne and the Pegasus Project team, the seed donors, sponsors and, of course, Gord – have all made a generational investment in our ability to fight for the lives of Western Canadians for decades to come,” said STARS president and CEO Andrea Robertson.
“From the bottom of our hearts: thank you for helping us be there for the next patient who needs us.”