By Mary-Justine Lanyon
It’s a store opening that has been years in the making but, on Wednesday, Sept. 14, CVS was officially opened in Lake Arrowhead Village.
The ribbon cutting ceremony, put on by the Lake Arrowhead Communities Chamber of Commerce, was attended by a large number of district and regional CVS staff, as well as chamber board members and other mountain residents.
CVS provided a variety of snacks as well as coffee and handed out bright red bags filled with goodies.
“We are excited to be open,” said Kenneth Morris, the district leader. “We have felt so welcomed into the community.”
Morris noted that 95 percent of the staff at the Village CVS are local residents. “It’s a joy to get them on board,” he said.
Noting that he has been with CVS for 41 years, Morris said it had bothered him that the #1 healthcare store in the country was selling tobacco products. “In 2014,” he said, “we took them out of the stores. Our goal since then has been to enable the first tobacco-free generation in the U.S.
“We took the lead in COVID testing and vaccinations,” Morris said. He noted CVS provided 29 million COVID tests and 30 million vaccine doses.
Regional Director Diana Ibrahim said CVS “brings our heart to the community.” She asked for feedback on the store and thanked the community “for allowing us to come into your community.”
Both Robin Bull, the chamber executive director, and Josh Martin, president of the chamber board, thanked CVS for “investing in our community.” Martin added, “We are glad to have you finally open.”
Store manager Chris Luczkow said he had lived on the mountain for 14 years. “I am proud of our community. We intend to provide the best service and care we can here.
“We’re here, we care and we’re open.”
CVS, located in upper Lake Arrowhead Village near the post office, is open 365 days a year from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.