Rosthern Seniors' Centre Receives Smiles Cheque

2024 marks the 60th anniversary of the very first Tim Hortons restaurant opening its doors, on May 17, 1964, in Hamilton, Ontario. The Smile Cookie Campaign to support community groups and charities launched over 25 years ago in 1996. The first Smile Cookie campaign originally raised funds for Hamilton Children's Hospital. Since then, the annual charitable campaign has raised more than $129 million across Canada and the United States for charities and organizations. Recipients are selected every year by Tim Hortons restaurant owners. Charities and organizations apply for the opportunity to be the recipients of the fundraising campaign and the owners of each franchise choose which one they will support. All the funds raised stay in the community. Tim Hortons announced that nearly $18.8 million was raised this spring through the sales of Smile Cookies across Canada and in the United States, supporting over 600 charities and community groups. A proud supporter of Special Olympics Canada since 2016, Tim Hortons has a strong history of partnering with Tim’s restaurant owners to support communities. In 2021, Tim Hortons launched the Orange Sprinkle Donut to support Indigenous charities and 100 percent of sales are donated to the Orange Shirt Society, the Indian Residential School Survivors Society, and the New Pathways Foundation in Quebec.

Janna Dutton, the owner of the Rosthern Tim Hortons franchise, and Area Manager Jenny Guest presented a cheque for $3257.41 to Rosthern Seniors Centre board members on June 11 at their monthly board meeting. The donation represented the proceeds of the April 29 to May 5 Rosthern Smile Cookie Campaign. Leading up to the campaign, members of the Seniors’ Club, friends, and Affinity Credit Union employees from branches in the surrounding area decorated 2,150 cookies. In addition to counter sales, local businesses could order cookies for their employees, patrons could round up their sales to contribute to the fundraiser, and cash donations to the campaign were also accepted.

In 2023, the Tim Hortons Smile Cookie charitable campaign launched in the spring, instead of the fall, making way for the first-ever national Holiday Smile Cookie campaign to launch in November. During its inaugural campaign, $9.8 million was raised with half donated to over 600 local charities and community groups and the other half to Tim Hortons Foundation Camps. The Holiday Smile Cookie campaign will return this November.

The Rosthern Seniors’ Club is grateful for the support of the local Tim’s and the community. It will continue running its activities throughout the summer months, including the Tuesday and Thursday games afternoons and the monthly entertainment. The $15 admission to the entertainment evenings contributes to the general fund that covers the expenses of the Seniors’ Centre.

Amos Fehr provided the entertainment for June. Fehr is well-known to the Rosthern community, serving as the Chaplain at the Mennonite Nursing Home for the past nine years. Growing up near Hague and attending Bethany College at Hepburn, Fehr has strong ties to the area. He spent 20 years as a youth pastor in Manitoba, but nearly a decade ago when he and his wife, Wendy’s, adult children decided they wanted to move to Saskatchewan, Amos and Wendy followed.

Fehr regularly shares his music with the residents of the Nursing Home, and this is the second time he has appeared at the Seniors’ Centre, this time performing popular radio tunes from 1920 to 1990. Covering artists like Johnny Cash, Johnny Nash, John Denver, Gordon Lightfoot, and B.J. Thomas, he not only shared his music but between songs, gave some background of the song or the original artist.

Tim Hortons Camp Day in support of the Tim Hortons Foundation Camps is just around the corner on July 17, and this year also marks the 50th anniversary of the foundation. Tim Hortons Foundation Camps has supported hundreds of thousands of underserved youths in its history, by equipping them with skills they need to reach their full potential. Every Camp Day, 100 percent of hot and iced coffee sales at Tim Hortons restaurants are donated to support the foundation and approximately $250 million has been raised in Camp Day history. In addition to Camp Day's incredible impact, through its Timbits Sports program launched in 1982, Tim Hortons supports hundreds of thousands of kids yearly with opportunities to participate in house-league hockey and soccer.

Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wakaw Recorder