Giving back to the community is important, says physiotherapist Trevor Kwolek.
Starting Nov. 1, his new physiotherapy clinic in the medical centre plaza behind Simpson’s Pharmacy on Niagara Stone Road will be running a month-long “Remember Me” campaign.
Great North Physiotherapy will donate $5 from every service to the Royal Canadian Legion branch 124.
“I’ve always felt working as a physiotherapist in Canada, and comparing it to how I worked as a physiotherapist in Australia, that we grossly under service our veterans from a rehabilitation standpoint,” said Kwolek, the clinic’s owner.
A physiotherapist for about 12 years, Kwolek opened his clinic five weeks ago.
He has done extensive work with hockey and baseball athletes and worked with participants in the 2022 Canada and Ontario Summer Games and the 2015 Pan Am Games.
“We’re always encouraged when members of the community become involved with our remembrance events and recognize that this is a time of remembrance,” said Al Howse, the president of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Legion.
Kwolek has always had a soft spot for Canadian veterans, he said, all because of his uncle.
When he was a kid, he remembers his uncle donating $20 for a poppy. He asked him why he would donate that much when he could just have given 25 cents.
“(He) gave me this whole speech about the importance of veterans and how they sacrificed (their) lives for us to be where we are today,” he said.
“So it’s basically evolved into me really wanting to give back to that specific population themselves,” he added.
This is a way for him to contribute to the community.
“A lot of clinics kind of get into the habit of servicing their clients and not necessarily giving back to the community,” he said.
That’s what Great North Physiotherapy was founded on, he said. While helping patients is important, so is being involved within the community.
The money will go toward the Legion’s Poppy Trust Fund, which helps “anyone that’s been in the military or the police and needs help in any way,” said Howse.
“We donated over $10,000 to homeless veterans, for instance, in the past year, and we’ve purchased a service dog for another one,” he added.
The annual poppy campaign is one of the many fundraisers the legion holds in November to raise money for veterans. The poppy campaign starts on Friday, Oct. 28.
“We will have poppy boxes at about 200 stores plus we will have people out on the street handing out poppies,” he said.
“We don’t actually sell them. What we’re doing is we’re distributing the poppies. So everyone can wear one and participate in remembrance,” he added.
If people decide they want to make a donation, it will all go to the Poppy Trust Fund.
After November, Kwolek’s hopes to continue giving back to the town by having a toy drive or a clothing drive around Christmas time.