Take a coffee break for a good cause

The Alzheimer Society of Kenora/Rainy River is asking district residents to take a coffee break for a good cause on Thursday, Sept. 23.
Executive director Margaret Schonewille noted the annual nation-wide event, which sees numerous locations serve up coffee and dainties for the cost of a donation to the Alzheimer Society, provides an opportunity for people to socialize, build community spirit and, of course, support the cause.
In Fort Frances, participants that have agreed so far to hold a coffee break that day include the Town of Fort Frances (Civic Centre), Wilson’s Business Solutions, Celeste’s Beauty Salon, CIBC, The Treasure Chest, and The Harbourage.
Similar coffee breaks are planned across the district, including at Tompkin’s Hardware in Emo, the Barwick Village Restaurant in Barwick, and the Rainy River Record office in Rainy River.
Schonewille stressed more hosts are welcome to participate, adding the Alzheimer coffee breaks can take place anywhere, whether it be retail stores, restaurants, large and small businesses, care facilities, schools, government offices, coffee shops, community centres, or churches.
“Individuals can even do it in their homes,” said Schonewille. “Neighbours can drop by, chat, and make a donation.”
Individuals or businesses wanting to do so can contact Schonewille at 1-800-682-0245 and tell her they’re holding a coffee break. Their name then will be entered in a draw, with the winning host getting a $500 gift certificate from Canada Safeway.
In related news, Schonewille also said the “Buck-A-Cup” fundraiser will be running at various businesses throughout September.
The “Buck-A-Cup” campaign is where customers at these locations pay a loonie and write their names on a paper coffee cup, which then is taped up on a window, wall, or elsewhere at the businesses for all to see.
Participating locations in Fort Frances include A&W, Royal Bank, TD Canada Trust, Pizza Hut, Dairy Queen, Canada Safeway, Pharmasave, Canadian Tire, and Bonnie Blue.
(Northern Lights Credit Union will be doing “Buck-A-Cup” in October).
Elsewhere in the district, Dev-Lynne’s is participating in Devlin, as is the Emo Inn, Village Variety, and Cloverleaf Shop Easy Foods in Emo, and the Lakewood Credit Union and Helliar’s Resort in Nestor Falls.
Any business that still wants to get involved in the “Buck-A-Cup” fundraiser can contact Schonewille at the above toll-free number.
Schonewille said the coffee breaks and “Buck-A-Cup” fundraisers seem to grow every year. The ones for the Kenora/Rainy River districts raised about $6,500 last year.
“An estimated 364,000 Canadians over 65 have Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia,” Stephen Rudin, executive director of the Alzheimer Society of Canada, said in a press release.
“This figure does not include the countless family members and caregivers who must cope with the effects of the disease,” he added.
“Buying a coffee for yourself or a friend from a participating Alzheimer coffee break location is a simple way of making a donation to the Alzheimer Society to raise money for essential programs and services,” Rudin noted.
“People diagnosed with the disease, their family members, and caregivers rely on the local Alzheimer Societies for information and support,” he stressed.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative brain disorder which currently affects one in 20 Canadians over the age of 65.
But with the aging of the “baby boom” population, it is estimated more than 750,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia by the year 2031 if a cure is not found.
The annual Alzheimer coffee break has raised almost $5.2 million since it began in 1996, including more than $1 million nationwide last year.