The Pointe-Claire Pharmaprix raised the bar in terms of donations this year during their annual campaign to help a local organization. “It’s something that Pharmaprix does every year around September,” said Marco Vernacchia, the owner of the Pharmaprix de la Triade. “It used to be called the Tree of Life, but now it’s called Love.You.” The Love.You. campaign is dedicated to local organizations that help women in some way.
“The goal is to support women’s health programs,” he said. “Each pharmacy picks a local group or organization that supports women.” This is the second year that Marco’s Pharmaprix has chosen to support the West Island MS Self-Help Group. Each Pharmaprix chooses their own organization; all of the funds raised goes to this organization.
Despite the name change, the tree of life still tracks funds raised. “For about a month and a half we had a tree on our window,” he explained. “We asked the clients and employees to purchase leaves that go on the tree. There’s leaves, butterflies, apples, and birds. Leaves sell the most because they are one dollar each. By selling these, we raised $3241 this year.” Last year’s fundraiser brought in $2800. Through the joint effort of employees and store patrons, they’ve raised the bar from the previous year for this generous donation.
Each Pharmaprix in the city chooses their own organization to support. Marco has specific relations with the West Island MS Self-Help Group and the support they provide the community. “One of our employees suffers from MS,” he said. “I decided to support them and the cause, then find a local group in the West Island.”
Marco hopes to bring awareness to how devastating this disease can be. It can affect everyone—young and old in life-altering ways. “Even though someone may look very healthy at a young age, the disease is progressive,” he explained. “It’s important to support them through the whole process.” The West Island MS Self-Help Group aids those with MS at each step of their journey. “We are going to keep supporting this group for the coming years,” just like the MS Group helps their members for years.
The West Island Multiple Sclerosis Self-Help Group provides services for those suffering. Recreation, therapy, aquafitness, and other events with the goal of easing the process of the disease. “We are just trying to make people aware of this disease.” A little bit of awareness goes a long way when tackling a disease like Multiple Sclerosis.
By: Jillian Clark – totimes.ca