Tradewinds Marketplace on South Street in Blue Hill will be encouraging customers to buy paper hearts to support Blue Hill Memorial Hospital’s oncology program. The program is affiliated with Eastern Maine Medical Center’s CancerCare of Maine. Tradewinds owner, Chuck Lawrence, has set a goal of raising at least $2,500 from the Blue Hill heart sales during the month of February. With his wife, Belinda, Lawrence is already donating one penny per gallon of gasoline sold at Tradewinds in Blue Hill to the local community hospital.
“We are extremely grateful for the Lawrences’ continued generosity toward our hospital and are excited that Chuck and Belinda are also involving their store associates in helping us provide the best possible care for cancer patients,” says Connie Barrett, RN and chief nursing officer. Barrett lost a stepson, Ryan, to cancer in 2009 and has a special understanding of the toll that the disease takes not only on patients, but on entire families and communities.
The monies donated from gasoline sales at Tradewinds are already making a difference for Blue Hill Memorial Hospital’s cancer patients. “We have purchased a blanket warmer for patients and comfortable chairs for family members,” says Barrett. “Every dollar makes a difference,” she says, noting that her nursing staff has a “wish list” of additional items that could immediately benefit patients. “In healthcare we sometimes associate philanthropy with big ticket items like a new ultrasound machine,” she explains. “It’s important to remember that even the most modest gifts can make a difference. That’s why each and every gift is important to us.”
In addition to their store in Blue Hill, the Lawrences own or co-own Tradewinds enterprises in Milo, Eddington, Bangor, and Brewer. “We are trying to fight cancer in all of these communities,” says Lawrence. “Belinda and I are really pumped up to make a difference and are encouraging our employees and customers to join us. It’s the right thing to do.”
Tradewinds customers interested in supporting local cancer patients and their families can purchase hearts in Blue Hill throughout the month of February.