Lorna Vomacka

Shopping local boosts the Cowichan Lake area communities

There are many reasons to shop locally, at Cowichan Lake.

There are many reasons to shop locally, at Cowichan Lake.

In addition to saving gas on a trip out to Duncan, shopping locally means direct improvements to the Cowichan Lake community.

Last week saw one example of this, with Lake Cowichan Furniture and Appliances handing a $250 cheque to the Lake Cowichan Animal Rescue Society.

“When you shop local, you get it back,” Lorna Vomacka, from the store, said.

The money will go toward vet bills, for the most part which mainly serve to spay and neuter Cowichan Lake area cats, to prevent further cat infestation in the area.

“About 98 per cent of it is probably going into paying the vet bill,” society representative Mike Bedard said.

Sue Lawson, whose son is going through treatment for aplastic anemia, can attest to the giving nature of Cowichan Lake area businesses.

A 2008 fund-raiser for her son helped raise money for medical expenses.

Now, during harder economic times, businesses are turning out to help again. This time, a similar such fund-raiser is for other families dealing with the disease (see Page 13).

“It’s difficult, with the shops closing, but people are still rallying, still coming together,” she said.

It’s impossible to find a local non-profit organization that hasn’t benefited from the local business community, and the Cowichan Lake and River Stewardship Society is no exception.

The annual River Clean-up event is an excellent example of a situation wherein the local business communities band together, society chair Gerald Thom said.

“It would have happened without the support of small business,” he said. “It fosters really good relations, and leads to benefits on both sides.”

The list of local businesses that helped out is a long one, in addition to out-of-town businesses that recognize the importance of getting their name out through charitable causes.

“We should always give back,” Thom said, of shopping local.

“It’s important,” mayor Ross Forrest said, of people shopping local at Cowichan Lake.

“It’s hard when Walmart and all the big stores are down the road.”

Although at times difficult, most everything one needs is at Cowichan Lake.