Tales of big-hearted Cascader

Sylvie Laroche is actively involved in her community, as many other Cascaders.

Cascades is proud to count among its ranks many socially engaged, dedicated individuals. Their efforts make a real difference, both in the workplace and beyond. We decided to introduce you to one of them: Sylvie Laroche, a generous Cascader who has worked for Cascades since 2000 and is actively involved in United Way fundraisers.


When life plays pranks

In May 2011, Sylvie learned she had breast cancer. After overcoming the initial shock, she began the difficult treatment process. It’s no secret that cancer is a devastating illness, both physically and emotionally, but what happens to patients’ financial well-being? Some of them, like Sylvie, work for companies that offer their employees financial support through insurance. However, the Cascader came to realize that such an opportunity isn’t within everyone’s reach.


‘’Angels’’ for people in need

Luckily, there are many organizations working to support people who are going through a rough time. They are designed to provide a variety of specialized services. But where do these organizations get their funding? Well, for example, the non-profit United Way distributes approximately $70 million to 1,700 community organizations from all regions of Quebec. Such contributions target a variety of causes, ranging from access to housing to combating school drop-out.


A large-scale tradition


In a twist of fate, Sylvie has been actively involved in United Way Centre-du-Québec’s fundraising campaigns since 2007. She started as campaign manager for the Kingsey Falls Cascades headquarters and has been a member of the regional United Way Campaign Cabinet since 2010. She oversees the campaigns organized by the funding managers in each of Cascades’s units.


In total, over 40 Cascaders do volunteer work for the non-profit organization each year. Clearly, it’s a way of life at Cascades—on average, we raise over $240,000 annually just in the Centre-du-Québec region. Several thousand dollars more flow in from all over the province, thanks to other equally dedicated employees.


More determined than ever

Sylvie laments the fact that people “don’t usually like to talk about society’s problems.” Upon returning to work, she was even more determined to build awareness among Cascaders. It’s an everyday battle! “I want my colleagues to understand the essence of United Way, what its mission is,” she says. United Way’s ability to benefit all generations fascinates her.

There can be no doubt about Sylvie’s enthusiasm for the positive influence of United Way. “Anyone can fall on hard times,” she argues. Sylvie, a model of kindness, knows that every little bit helps. She is also Vice-President of Prevention and Safety for the Canadian Ski Patrol System in Quebec. Her future plans, you ask? Sylvie makes no secret of the fact that she’d love to explore the humanitarian aid field. Volunteering for the Red Cross, maybe going on a humanitarian trip—who knows?


Your turn?

As she likes to remind people, giving just a few hours of our time can make a difference. What about you? What do you like to do for your community? What more can you do?


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About the Author
Carl Blanchet

Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Laval University and an MBA from Sherbrooke University, Carl has been working for Cascades for the past 17 years. Throughout the years, he has held the positions of plant manager among different Cascades groups. Main character in business development of Cascades, Carl is now in charge of business partners relations and innovation’s strategic development for the company. "My passion is about building partnerships with other organizations to share what we've learned here at Cascades. As one of the leaders in sustainable research and development, it feels great to know we're making a difference!" Carl loves to be involved: he is implicated in his community as CEO for the Centre du Quebec United Way organization as well as a volunteering member of the Hotel-Dieu d’Arthabaska Foundation.

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