Denis Grenier is dedicated to supporting cancer patients in his own community. Now, the founder of Cancer Fermont is hoping to spread his mission across the border into Labrador West.
When explaining the idea behind the charity in a talk to supporters and local mayors, Grenier emphasized the importance of the money that's raised staying in the local community. He says most people receive about $4,000 in assistance from the charity.
Grenier is hoping the local mayors will encourage people in the communities of Wabush and Labrador City to start an organization based on the model used in Fermont.
Grenier - and the work of Cancer Fermont - has been recognized at the Quebec National Assembly and by the federal government in Ottawa.
Cancer Fermont holds fundraisers to raise the money it distributes, some of which will take place in April. There are regular Sunday morning lunches at the Moose Lodge and an annual Crab Concert.
Since it was founded in 2005, the charity has distributed more than half a million dollars.
At the gathering, Grenier thanked people in Labrador West, who have been supporting Cancer Fermont over the years. He hopes people in Labrador West will see the benefits of such an organization in this area as well.
Currently, the charity gets no funding from any level of government and depends on fundraising and donations by local companies and businesses in order to help cancer patients.
Grenier says the work of volunteers is also essential to having a successful charity, and he is grateful for those who help Cancer Fermont. He says mayors Ron Barron and Wayne Button encouraged local leaders to look at the benefits of such an organization in their towns, especially if, like Fermont, funds are used for local residents.
There are already a number of organizations in the Labrador West area that support local cancer patients.
Grenier says if anybody is interested in finding out more about Cancer Fermont and how the model works in that community - or would like more information about setting one up in Labrador West - they can contact him at 709-280-7557.