‘Tree of Life’ flowers for women’s health

The Toronto East General Hospital (TEGH) Foundation received $24,581 from the recent Shoppers Drug Mart Tree of Life Campaign in support of women’s health.

“The Tree of Life Campaign is held every year…. It’s a four-week charitable event,” Shoppers Drug Mart associate-owner John Papastergiou said. “What we do is try to support something in the local community.”

Papastergiou chose the TEGH Foundation for its community influence.

“In my case, we decided to support TEGH because of its proximity and its importance to our local community here.”

The foundation also holds personal value for Papastergiou.

“TEGH has always been near and dear to my heart,” he added. “My father was treated there for cancer. He’s a cancer survivor.”

The amount was raised by 11 different Shoppers Drug Mart locations. Papastergiou owns three of these locations, which are all located in East York along the Danforth.

“The store we’re standing in now raised the most money,” Papastergiou said — inside the location at 1630 Danforth Ave., which raised approximately $4,000.

“To date, our stores combined have raised $85,000 for Toronto East General Hospital,” he said.

This was Papastergiou’s fourth year supporting the TEGH Foundation.

“It’s been a natural extension because of how close we are to them,” he said. “I developed a relationship with their foundation and I think this is something that will continue every year.”

Papastergiou said the extensive campaigning couldn’t have been done without the effort of the Shoppers Drug Mart staff.

“Our staff was responsible for getting the community engaged and getting behind the campaign.”

With this year’s success, the businessman is already thinking about next year’s Tree of Life Campaign.

“I look forward to a huge campaign next year. Hopefully, if we set a target of $30,000, we’ll be able to get there,” Papastergiou said. “Next year will be our biggest and best Tree of Life Campaign.”