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Aug. 14, 2020 | Friday
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Pharmacy barbecue supports Red Roof Retreat
Ward Simpson mans the grill at the barbecue fundraiser at Simpson's Pharmacy on Friday, July 26. (Dariya Baiguzhiyeva/Niagara Now)

Grilling burgers while raising money for a charity and showing appreciation for their customers – that is how Simpson’s Pharmacy staff spent their Friday afternoon last week.

The pharmacy on Niagara Stone Road held a barbecue fundraiser last Friday for Red Roof Retreat. There were also cookies and cupcakes from Baking by Becs, and almond flour buns for people on a keto or a low-carb diet.

Last year’s barbecue raised around $1,000. This year, with the help of around 100 people who showed up at the event, the pharmacy raised $950. All proceeds from the barbecue will go to Red Roof Retreat, which provides support to children with special needs and their families.

Owner Sean Simpson said the store has had a longstanding relationship with Red Roof and it was a “nice idea” to tie in a barbecue fundraiser with the store’s Customer Appreciation Day. Simpson’s father, Ward Simpson, is also chair of the board of the non-profit agency.

“We’re always thrilled to see our customers come out and we’re grateful for their support,” said Sean Simpson. “Always happy to give back and that’s the idea behind the barbecue.”

Red Roof has been partnering with the pharmacy since the charity started, said Steffanie Bjorgan, the agency’s executive director.

“When they (Simpson’s Pharmacy) see, year after year (what) connection does, this means they believe in the work that we do,” Bjorgan told The Lake Report. “And it tells the community we’re doing a good job. And they (pharmacy) are doing a good job. They’re always out in the community. They’re amazing family and friends.”

Harmony Maryanssen and Down Corbett were at the pharmacy for an appointment.

When they saw there was a barbecue and learned about the charity, they said they wanted to support it.

“It’s not just a money-making barbecue,” said Maryanssen while Corbett added the proceeds go to “a good cause.”

Lisa and Bob Allen also came by to support Red Roof Retreat. “Anything Ward and Sean do is first-class,” said Bob Allen.

Two Pleasant Manor residents, Jude Happerson and Armin Epp, stopped by to support the barbecue and take advantage of the Customer Appreciation Day. They said the food was “excellent.”