Let me issue a challenge
The recent purchase of Co-op stores in the region, and the closure of the Queen Street location in Charlottetown, has been noted and lamented by many people. Let me add my voice. I'm particularly sad at the end of Co-op's wonderful support of so many non-profit groups through the Advisory Council chaired by Reg Shields. The list of organizations assisted by Co-op funding is long and impressive, as is the amount channeled to the charitable/volunteer sector each year.
The Joyriders Therapeutic Riding Association was one of the groups helped by Co-op donations. We have provided therapeutic riding for Islanders with disabilities since 1979. As volunteer Board member with Joyriders, I know how useful the thousands of dollars we received were. We get no government funding and rely on our own fundraising efforts and assistance from organizations like Easter Seals, Rotary, Lions Clubs, and a few loyal long-time corporate and individual friends. What was especially welcome about the Co-op funding was it was not earmarked for a distinct, visible item, but could be used to help the organization run the program that defines it. Like other organizations, we will have to find a way to make up the loss.
I realize that Sobeys has a charitable program, and has helped some very worthwhile causes and organizations. A number of years ago they made an unsolicited donated to Joyriders, which we appreciated.
But it doesn't replace the broadly spread grass-roots support of Co-op's program. So, my challenge to Sobeys is to replicate what is being lost. Why not weekly 50-50 draws with the proceeds going to charitable groups? It worked for Co-op, why not Sobeys? Does anyone agree? Andy Robb, Mermaid