Participants and sponsors of the LD Seeds “Grow your Moe and come for the show” annual Movember event gathered at the shop southwest of Altona last week, for supper and a presentation by STARS air ambulance members. The event was a celebration of a month of no shaving to raise funds for STARS. The amount raised would pay for two emergency missions by the STARS helicopter.
It was a big success last year, so the guys from LD Seeds decided to do it again.
All through the month of November, owners Lloyd and Dylan Wiebe held a “Grow your Moe and come for the show” annual Movember event.
They encouraged their staff, business associates, customers and friends to join them, by growing out their mustaches to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues.
Proceeds from the event go to the organization of their choice. Last year, by relinquishing their razors, they managed to raise nearly $2.000 for Eden Mental Health.
This year, after considering the various aspects of men’s health, they chose to support STARS air ambulance. STARS offers time, hope and life-saving transport to critically ill and injured patients throughout Western Canada.
For Lloyd, the choice of recipient was an easy one. “When you talk about health, you also talk about safety. We chose STARS because of the value they bring to rural communities. We feel like it’s time to give something back to them.”
He admits that as soon as November was over, the mustache came off, but he says the camaraderie that came with joining forces for a cause was a great experience.
“It’s fun to get the neighbours and customers together. This year, we opened it up to local business people, suppliers and dealers, as well.”
Lloyd says seed partners like Legends Seeds, Canterra Seeds, Pride Seeds, Secan, Fast Genetics and BASF help make the event such a success.
“Our goal for this year was $5,000, and I’m thrilled to say we raised about $12,000!”
Lloyd says this means they raised enough to pay for two life-saving missions.
On November 30, after a month of sacrificing their shavers, the group of about 20 participants joined other supporters at the LD Seeds shop southwest of Altona for supper and a presentation from STARS air ambulance.
Pilot Ed Coleman reflected on the history of STARS and spoke about a study in the early 1980s, which showed about half the deaths due to trauma could have been prevented if patients had received critical care sooner.
In the last year alone, 619 missions were flown from their base in Winnipeg. Six were to Altona, six to Carman, 10 to Morden, two to Letellier, three to Morris, four to Plum Coulee, and 17 to Winkler.
“The big thing here is that people know about us and they want to support us,” Coleman says.
“In an agricultural community, there are always risks. In fact, the first time I came to Altona, a poor gentleman lost one of his arms when he opened up his garage door. So, it’s very rewarding to be part of STARS, and to see calls and know you’re bringing that person the best help they can receive. Thanks to these folks for all their support.”
In Manitoba, STARS receives 89 per cent of their funding through the government, and 11 per cent from charitable giving. Development officer Lori Derksen says they’d like to see that number rise. “Charitable giving allows us more security and freedom for necessary care and extraordinary programs.”
She adds that events like “Grow your Moe” mean a lot to them. “Everywhere I go, there’s stories of how we’re helping people. It’s an honour to work with STARS. We have the best of the best of the best in terms of clinical care and aviation. To know it’s out there is incredibly comforting.”