Community comes through again for local healthcare

St. Francis Valley Healthcare Foundation (SFVH) and local healthcare partners had double reasons for celebration before Thanksgiving as two significant donations were presented to them. In both cases, local retailers were as amazed as SFVH to see the extent to which members of the public have contributed during what nobody disputes is a very tough and unusual year.

Tim Hortons Smile Cookie Week

Smile Cookie Week was a huge success as Barry’s Bay Tim Hortons raised a grand total of $8,101 from the sale of Smile Cookies. Above, back row from left: Greg McLeod, COO St. Francis Memorial Hospital; Karen Tierney, SFVH Chair (giving thumbs up with cheque); Barry’s Bay Tim Hortons franchisee Jason Armstrong (with cheque); Chantal Kedroskie store manager; front row from left: Trisha Sammon, CEO Valley Manor Long Term Care, and Erin Gienow, SFVH Executive Director.

Tim Hortons franchisee Jason Armstrong and store manager Chantal Kedroskie welcomed representatives of SFVH and local healthcare partners to a cheque presentation at the store. They explained that they really had no idea what to expect and set a nominal goal of $5,000 for Smile Cookie Week knowing that this year parents not allowed to buy boxes of cookies for classrooms. They also were unable to rely on store staff to bake cookies every night as they were not open 24/7 due to COVID. Despite this, everything came together and the goal was soon exceeded by more than $3,000. Referencing the small population of the Bay, Armstrong said, “It’s all down to the community.”

Beer Store donations

It wasn’t just the coffee and cookie crowd who dug deep for healthcare. At the Barry’s Bay Beer Store, store manager Rodney Biernaski and assistant manager Carrie Picard presented a cheque for $10,275 to SFVH representatives and local healthcare partners. Above from left: Greg McLeod, COO at St. Francis Memorial Hospital; Carrie Picard, assistant manager; Erin Gienow, SFVH Executive Director; Lorraine Finn, St. Francis Memorial Hospital Auxiliary; Rodney Biernaski (with cheque), Beer Store manager

District manager Robin Urie gave credit to store staff, saying that at the local level they decided they wanted to do something for healthcare and began by asking customers to donate the deposit money due on their empties. Staff set an initial goal of $3,000 and soon discovered that customers would make cash donations as well. They reached the $10,000 mark in about six months. Biernaski gave all credit to the customers for contributing, and also to Beer Store staff who rallied enthusiastically to the cause, reminding each other to ask for donations. It seems to have become a habit for Beer Store staff who are now raising money for Roger Neilson House for pediatric palliative care.

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