Gems & Java wouldn’t be possible without the support of loyal and generous sponsors like Shoppers Drug Mart.
Shoppers Drug Mart's LOVE.YOU. campaign is all about supporting women and women's health, so when Oxford County pharmacy owners heard about the opportunity to sponsor Gems & Java, they knew it was a great fit.
“I know what Shelley is doing in Ethiopia. She started off helping children and doing a lot related to that, and she has seen how it circles back, and has now started working with the moms and the caregivers and the women, who are now empowered to look after their health,” said Lisa Silverthorne, owner of Woodstock's east-end Shoppers.
Two Woodstock Shoppers locations, and stores in Tillsonburg, Ingersoll and Norwich are all part of the major sponsorship for Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia's signature event.
Lisa, a longtime guest at Gems & Java, said all of her fellow pharmacy owners were more than happy to support the event. The Oxford County stores elected Lisa to speak on behalf of their group.
“It totally works with our platform,” she said. “We like to keep it local - this one is a little bit far-reaching - but I also think it's good to do a little bit of international, or far-reaching, outreach.”
Lisa also noted how much local effort goes into Gems & Java.
“There are so many women putting this event together that it's even empowering for them, I think, as a group to do this. It's helpful for our community that way,” she said.
“There's very few people that I meet that haven't been touched by Shelley and this purpose, somehow, and I think it's a very admirable community event that Shoppers should be involved in.”
Lisa's seen the dramatic growth of Gems & Java since it started six years ago.
“I love how it has tripled, quadrupled over time and become such a big, prominent event. I really like the fact that it's a very...professionally run event, for all women and everyone in the community. I think the men would even appreciate some of it, with the silent auction table. And (I like) that it is local,” she said.
It's also a great social time, Lisa said.
“All the women I know are there,” she said.
Another highlight is hearing the updates from Ethiopia.
“I love listening to the stories. It wouldn't be complete if Shelley wasn't up there telling me what's going on and what the new stories are,” she said.
We are so grateful to Lisa and all of the Oxford County Shoppers Drug Mart owners. That team is one of our Major Sponsors for Gems & Java 2017. We couldn't do it without you!