A sweet treat is about to create smiles throughout the North Okanagan.
Tim Hortons Smile Cookies are back and all proceeds from the sale of the cookies will support pediatric care at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.
“You get something for your dollar and the money all goes to the hospital,” said Dan Currie, local Tim Hortons owner.
Smile Cookies are part of a national initiative and are sold across Canada for $1 plus tax, with all proceeds going to local charities selected by individual Tim Hortons.
“We always start a little earlier than the national campaign, the Sept. 8, just because we get a little jump, with two weekends back to back,” said Currie.
The Tim Hortons chocolate chunk cookies decorated with colourful smiles will be available from today until Sept. 17.
“Every year, we look forward to the Smile Cookie campaign to help our local kids,” said Sue Beaudry, director of development for the VJH Foundation. “The generosity of Tim Hortons and our community members who buy the cookies help ensure that health care needs for our youth are met.”
Last year, the local Tim Hortons raised $36,866 through cookie sales and a matching donation from Currie and his wife, Jamie.
“We’ve pretty much kept our Smile Cookie fundraising to the hospital, and this year it’s going to the pediatric ward again because we like that cause and so many people in Vernon use the hospital, so funds will come from all the cookies sold amongst the eight locations in Enderby, Armstrong and Vernon. “The number of cookies sold varies but we usually sell around 20,000 and everything we make from the cookies is donated to the foundation.”
Currie said staff have been busy all week baking and decorating the cookies in preparation for the campaign.
“And then we sell, sell, sell — we also get many people who come in and buy a few dozen at a time and donate them,” he said.
Since 2003, local Smile Cookies have raised $282,387, providing vital equipment for the sixth and seventh floors of Polson Tower and the Women’s and Children’s Health Services Department at VJH.
The Smile Cookie program originated in Ontario in 1996 and has since expanded across Canada, helping a variety of children’s charities, hospitals and community programs.