Successful fundraiser supports charity
A little more than a month ago, the wrath of Hurricane Igor left in its wake a wide swatch of destruction. Untold numbers of trees, both ancient and modern, were ripped from their roots, crashing to the ground like matchsticks.
Today in Bay Roberts, one “tree” in particular remains standing.
The depiction is displayed in the front window of Shoppers Drug Mart, located on the Conception Bay Highway.
In 2002, the national corporation launched Tree of Life, an annual fundraising campaign. Since then, it has raised more than $13 million. The 2010 event, which ran in 1,180 stores nationwide from Sept. 18 to Oct. 15, raised funds to help support over 375 healthc a r e - r e l a t e d charities.
This year, the Bay Roberts and Carbonear stores partnered in the venture.
Because of this, the campaign was marked by what Darrell Parsons, associate/owner of the Bay Roberts store, calls “a little bit of friendly competition.”
The stores sold “ leaves” for the Tree of Life. Customers were encouraged to purchase and personalize a leaf for a loonie, a butterfly for $5, or a red cardinal for $50, the latter usually bought by businesses.
The icons were then shaped into a tree and prominently displayed in the store.
Each store got to select the charity of its choice. This year’s monies, raised in both Bay Roberts and Carbonear, are being divided equally between Trinity Conception Placentia Health Foundation and the Angel Fund.
The Angel Fund is a young charity, spearheaded by local women who are faced with the grim reality of breast cancer.
The national company set financial goals for its stores.
“ The goal set for us this year was 3,500 leaves,” Parsons says. “ However, our own goal, from the beginning, was to double that. Right now, we’re at 6,800 leaves.”
Parsons and his staff “tried to make it fun,” he says.
“I challenged my staff. And Carbonear did the same thing. We had contests. We awarded prizes to those people who sold the most leaves. We had a jeans day every Friday.”
He recently found out his store sold the most leaves in Atlantic Canada. By the end of last week, the Bay Roberts store had raised over $7,000.
The Carbonear store had raised over $4,400.
Such an overwhelming response was not necessarily a given this year.
“ There are always people raising money,” Parsons explains.
“ This year we had Hurricane
Darrell Parsons, associate/owner, Bay Roberts Shoppers Drug Mart
Igor which, we thought, would have a negative effect on the money raised. But the generosity of the people in this area is amazing. In my opinion, it’s unmatched.”
Much of the credit goes to the stores’ co-ordinating team captains; Wanda Crane in Bay Roberts and Sandra Ruff in Carbonear.
“ I love it. The monies raised are going to two good causes,” said Crane.