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.

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