Ken Craven's Coffee Break
Most dentists don’t encourage their patients to have coffee and cookies.
But once a year, Ken Craven offers treats alongside toothbrushes at his dental practice to raise money for the Alzheimer Society of Oxford.
Ken has been volunteering with the Alzheimer Society for well over 20 years, including as a dedicated Walk for Alzheimer’s volunteer. He has also hosted annual Coffee Breaks for more than a decade.
“The whole office has kind of embraced it, and so has my family, so everyone’s on board with helping out the Alzheimer Society,” he says.
The Society was a major support system for Ken after his dad’s dementia diagnosis. It robbed him of his fine motor skills and left Ken with only glimpses of the person he knew in the year before his death.
The Alzheimer Society did assessments and provided Ken with background materials. It also offered crucial caregiver relief.
“It was wonderful to have them there, because it’s relentless, some of these conditions, and people who are caring for people with dementia just don’t get a break, and the Alzheimer Society helps provide that.”
Ken finds Coffee Breaks to be a “nicer, kinder way” of asking for the donations that make this work possible. The host is able to provide treats in exchange for donations and raising awareness.
This year, his dental practice decided to put a different spin on their Coffee Break to bring in more funds. They made up a gift basket filled with dental products and sold ballots for a $10 donation over the month of October.
At the end of the month, the draw was held on the same day as the Coffee Break. As always, one of Ken’s patients brought in brownies, squares and cookies, and the practice put out coffee and a donation bin.
It was a hit.
They raised well over $500, Ken says – more than double their usual amount.
Ken thinks stretching the fundraiser out over a few weeks is a good strategy for businesses or offices that want to host Coffee Breaks. The more awareness raised, the better.
After more than ten years of hosting Coffee Breaks, he has no plans to slow down. If the gift basket idea loses momentum in a couple of years, he says he’ll come up with something new – whatever it takes to raise more money for the Alzheimer Society.
“The Alzheimer Society of Oxford has been great for the people of Oxford County, so I’d like to see them continue to grow and continue to offer more services.”