| Sep 24, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - September 24, 2009 Official “Coffee Break” initiates fundraising for local Alzheimer’s programsby Julie Druker

l-r: David Townsend, Candace Bertrim, Kathrine Christensen, Marcel Giroux, Daphne Gardiner, Carol Southall and Colonial St. Pierre

On September 18 at the North Frontenac Telephone Company in Sharbot Lake, members of the community gathered for the first ever Official Annual Alzheimer’s Coffee Break to be held in Central Frontenac.

Sponsored by the Alzheimer Society of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (ASFLA), hosted by Candace Bertrim and emceed by new board member Marcel Giroux, the event marked the beginning of a year-long nation-wide campaign to raise money for local Alzheimer programs. In Central Frontenac the local program now has a permanent home at the Sharbot Lake Seniors’ Centre.

Present at the event was Kathrine Christensen, fund development co-coordinator for the ASFLA. She highlighted the importance of the Coffee Break program, which began in 1996 and was designed specifically for individual communities to raise funds for their own local Alzheimer Society programs, which include awareness, education, counseling and support for caregivers and their families. The program provides kits and advice to local groups who are encouraged to host their own unique fundraisers.

Also present at the event were Colonial St. Pierre who made a significant donation to the cause on August 29 in memory of his wife Annette, and Annette’s sister Daphne Gardiner, who has donated an artwork for an upcoming raffle to be held in January.

Since it began the Coffee Break program has raised $11 million nation wide for support and research into Alzheimer’s.

This first Coffee Break in Sharbot Lake was particularly significant since it begins the local fundraising initiative that will go a long way in supporting residents of North and Central Frontenac who are affected by the disease.

According to David Townsend, CEO of the ASFLA, the Society’s name changed just recently to include Frontenac, Lennox and Addington and demonstrates the Kingston Society’s aim to include more people in their catchment area. Townsend stated, “I thank Catherine Tysick and Candace Bertrim who came to me about a year ago saying that we have to do more for people in the north.” All funds raised locally will be used to directly fund the recently established and permanent Alzheimer Society office that opened in the Seniors Centre in Sharbot Lake.

The $53,000 Trillium grant that helped establish the local program in Sharbot Lake will be used to keep the program going for the next 2 years but the program requires additional funding as well.

Regarding local funding CEO Townsend explained, “Our hope is that in the two-year period while the Trillium Foundation is helping fund the Sharbot Lake office, that we can generate enough local income that will stay local so that we can keep Candace’s job going and growing.”

The Alzheimer office in Sharbot Lake is currently open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:30am- 4:30pm and is run single-handedly by Candace Bertrim. She wears a number of different hats and provides valuable services to members of the community affected by the disease. These include: the First Link program, which connects clients to caregivers and physicians for early diagnosis; education by coordinating initial counseling and training; public education programs in the schools and communities and the development of fundraising activities which includes organizing the Coffee Breaks.

Carol Southall, whose husband passed away a year and a half ago, has in the past received some of the local Alzheimer services. She stood up near the end of the presentation and delivered an ad lib testimonial, stating, “ We are very fortunate to have what we have here and it is something that the community should be truly thrilled about.” She continued, “I just want to tell people who are potentially in need of the services and who are thinking of supporting them that it is indeed very worthy.”

Anyone interested in hosting their own Coffee Break can contact Candace Bertrim at 613-279-WELL (9355). The Alzheimer’s Society is located at the Seniors Centre, 1042 Elizabeth Street, Sharbot Lake.

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