Sweet smiles on the way for a half dozen local organizations

·3 min read

They're sweet, always have a huge smile and generously provide needed funds to local charitable causes.

Next week, from Sept. 19 to 25, a half dozen important Upper Valley community groups will benefit directly from Tim Hortons' annual Smile Cookie campaign.

Iain McDougall, owner of three Tim Horton franchises in Woodstock and one each in Hartland, Florenceville-Bristol and Perth-Andover, and his management and staff selected this year's local recipients for the national campaign.

Perth-Andover funds will support the Making a Difference Food Bank, while the Florenceville-Bristol Tim Hortons will direct its funds to the Upper River Valley Hospital Foundation in Waterville.

The Hartland Tims Smile Cookie sale will support the Western Valley Region Special Olympics,

In Woodstock, the Connell Street and Main Street locations will again raise funds for the River Valley Cancer Support Group and Prime Time Pals, respectively. Woodstock's Beardsley Road Tim Hortons Smile Cookies will support the Autism Family Friendship Group.

All the funds raised by the sale of cookies over the week go directly to the franchise's chosen charity.

The campaign raised more than $77 million across North America since the company launched the campaign in 1996, including a record $12 million last year.

Debbi Graham, Special Olympics Western Valley regional coordinator, and two Special Olympians, Jack Estey and Terry Sprague dropped by the Hartland Tims Thursday morning to express their appreciation.

Graham said Tim Hortons' contributions play an essential role in keeping the Special Olympics program strong in the Western Valley;

She said the organization serves families from Nackawic to Perth-Andover by providing a place for those with intellectual challenges to enjoy sports, camaraderie, activities and friendship.

Graham said the funds raised at the Hartland Tims next week would help cover the cost of uniforms, sports and other equipment, facility rentals and travel to nearby competitions.

Graham said Western Valley Region Olympians are excited to see bowling, one of their most popular sports, after an extended COVID shutdown.

Other Western Valley sports include curling, competitive swimming, floor hockey and snowshoeing.

Graham said Special Olympics registration day is Sept 27, starting at 6 p.m. at the Woodstock Golf and Curling Club.

Tim Hortons assistant regional general manager Melissa Grant joined Hartland manager Amanda Cote to greet Graham, Estey and Sprague and provided a tasty preview of the chocolate chunk cookie.

Graham, Grant and Cote each praised Tims's customers and the local business community for supporting the Smile Cookie program. Grant said that each community businesses place large orders of cookies to serve to staff or customers.

Companies looking to purchase the sweet treat can visit the local Tim Hortons restaurant or order through the Tim Hortons mobile app for delivery.

Helping promote this year's Smile Cookie campaign, Tim Hortons drew on the services of two of Canada's most decorated Olympic and World Champion athletes, swimming sensation Penny Oleksiak and hockey star Marie-Philip Poulin.

Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, River Valley Sun