Seed World

The Pitura Seeds Polar Bear Plunge Fundraiser has Been a Huge Success

Nineteen brave souls took the plunge into the freezing depths of a pond on the Pitura Seeds grounds in Domain, Man., on March 22, raising over $70,000 for STARS Ambulance.

Pitura Seeds President Tom Greaves highlighted the crucial role STARS Ambulance plays in supporting rural Manitobans. “STARS is an organization that supports rural communities across Manitoba. We have so many friends and family who have been affected by them and have made a difference in their lives because of STARS,” he said.

This event marked the inaugural polar bear dip fundraiser in support of STARS in Manitoba, a nonprofit helicopter air ambulance organization renowned for its rapid and specialized medical care to critically ill or injured patients. Equipped with advanced medical equipment and highly trained crews, STARS helicopters can swiftly reach remote or challenging locations, ensuring timely care for patients in dire need.

“We are so excited to see what could come of it, how the reaction of the public and the community would be,” Greaves added. The response was overwhelming, with jumpers from rural Manitoba testifying to the indispensable services provided by STARS Ambulance.

Participants didn’t just brave the icy waters; they got creative with their contributions. One such example was the bold challenge taken up by Laird Lampertz, sales manager for Pitura Seeds. Lampertz was dared to don a Speedo for the lunge for the plunge, which he happily did despite the cold temperatures.

Nexeed’s Rod Cockerline takes the plunge on March 22.

Safety was paramount throughout the plunge, with medical personnel and divers ensuring the well-being of all participants. Among them were members of the Hutterian Emergency Aquatic Response Team (HEART), highlighting the community-wide support for this noble cause.

The funds raised will bolster STARS’ mission to provide timely and specialized medical care, particularly in remote or challenging environments. “It goes to training our critical care crew, to help them get higher levels of training. It also goes to innovations like night vision goggles that allow us to fly at night,” said Angele Cutherbertson, who handles donor relations & development for STARS in Manitoba. “It’s so great to see Pitura Seeds and the community go to bat for us with an event like this. We’re so excited and appreciative.”

Despite the bone-chilling water, participants emerged with a sense of exhilaration and accomplishment. “The water was fresh. It definitely took your breath away when you hit it,” said Justin Daymond of Daymond Sales & Agronomy. “But after that, it was good.”

Generous donations poured in from various quarters of the agriculture industry and beyond, underscoring the widespread community support for STARS’ lifesaving efforts. “They reached out. They brought funds in, and they were the difference-makers to get us there,” Greaves added.