Every day in Saskatchewan, the STARS Air Ambulance flies about three missions, taking people in need of urgent medical care from their homes in rural and remote Saskatchewan to hospitals in larger centres.

Bonny Fortin was one of those patients. During the cesarian section for her fourth son, her iliac vein was severed, and she began losing blood rapidly.

“So, STARS was dispatched. They flew me from Swift Current to Regina where I had a specialist repair my vein, but in the meantime, if I didn’t have STARS, I am certain that I would have died.”

Fortin’s story is one of many, as last year, STARS assisted over 940 people.

Jeri-Lynn Johnston, Vice president of the STARS Foundation, says it takes roughly $11 million a year to operate the STARS air ambulance, only 50 per cent of which is provided by the government.

“We fundraise the remaining half, and that’s done through the lottery that’s going on right now which is our largest fundraiser. It contributes to one third of our funding for the year.”

The deadline to purchase early bird tickets for the STARS Home Lottery is Thursday at 11:59pm. The fully furnished home up for grabs in Saskatoon is located in the Greenbryre neighborhood. It features four bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, a bar area, and a games room.

The second home, located on Regina’s Green Stone Road, features five beds, 3.5 bathrooms, and it also comes fully furnished.

Other prizes include vehicles, vacations, jewelry, luggage, electronics, and home furnishings.

Both homes are now open for public viewings.

Johnston says the money raised will go towards helicopter maintenance, fuel costs, staff training and upgrading the state-of-the-art medical equipment that fills the back of the flying-ICU.