CORNWALL, Ontario – Tim Hortons and the Boys & Girls Club of Cornwall, SDG are hoping to spread smiles throughout the region next week, launching the annual Smile Cookie Campaign on Monday, Sept. 16.
“Cookies equal fun, right,” said Executive Director of the Club Jacquie Richards. “We’re proud, we’ve had a long-time partnership with our local Tim’s families. So this isn’t our first opportunity (to work with them). But I think when you have long-time partnerships, that’s because of the work and mutual respect.”
Smile Cookies have supported a number of organizations throughout the community in the past, raising funds for Rachel’s Kids last year.
“I think it’s fair to say we typically like to run on a three year commitment,” said Darryn McPhail, Tim Hortons franchisee. “There’s a lot of companies and organizations in the city that need help so we want to touch as many as we can, but extended time is needed to get the full benefit.”
McPhail said that last year’s campaign was a tremendous success however it took three years to reach its full potential. No fundraising goal is set this year as the inaugural year with a new organization is typically observed to inform projections and goals for the future supporting years.
Richards is looking forward to hosting a Smile Cookie Olympics on Monday, Sept. 16 with community members and influencers competing in a number of decorating competitions. She said that volunteers will be helping to decorate cookies throughout the week at the locations across the city, youth of the Club are working on special projects and teens of the Club anticipate working at some drive-through windows.
“Smile cookies is one of those things everyone can participate in. Everyone can eat a cookie or buy a cookie and it starts that simple…it’s something everyone can be a part of and know that 100 per cent of the cost of that cookie is going directly back into the community,” said Richards.
Richards explained that funds generated would be maximized in youth programs, specifically for teenagers.
“Our teen programs have (no) base so they rely exclusively on funds that we can generate from the community, or fundraisers (we) are involved in, or grant money that we can find…there isn’t a lot of programs that are at no cost for that catch group of the teens. We think it’s really important we offer a program all-year round, five days a week for them,” said Richards, explaining that programming focuses on a range of crucial topics, from mental and physical health to leadership and career goals.
“It seems to be, maybe the teens are the forgotten (or misunderstood) demographic, not necessarily in our community but in communities across the country…especially with changes in our society with social media…we just need to help look out for these kids…it’s entirely frightening that their self-worth is based on likes and not what they’ve accomplished on a day to day…it doesn’t matter how many hearts show up on your social media feed, or thumbs up,” said McPhail.