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Smile Cookie Campaign supporting hospital imaging, youth programs, and playground equipment in Muskoka

For the next week, buying a cookie at Tim Hortons will support medical imaging, youth programs, and playground equipment locally.

The Smile Cookie Campaign runs Sept. 19 to 25 this year. Residents can buy chocolate chip “Smile Cookies” for a dollar apiece, with all proceeds going to the chosen organization in their area.

Huntsville’s four locations of the chain support the Huntsville Hospital Foundation (HHF). Trish Kruusmagi with the HHF says they’re about halfway to the fundraising goal on their Focus on Imaging campaign, but still need to raise about $2-million for diagnostic imaging equipment at the Huntsville Hospital.

“All the equipment you see when you go there is funded by donors. It’s not covered by government taxes,” says Kruusmagi. “This is why it’s really important to support Huntsville Hospital Foundation, so our physicians have the most up-to-date equipment to care for our community.”

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In Bracebridge, the chain’s two locations support YWCA Muskoka and its youth programs. Laura Sundy with the organization says they hope to raise more than $10,000 for programs such as Girlz Unplugged and Boys Quest, which have been running in local schools for the past two decades.

“During the pandemic, we saw an increased demand that was more important than ever,” says Sundy. “Because our programs create a fun and safe space for youth to increase their connection to oneself, develop confidence, critical thinking skills, and how to build healthy relationships and resolve conflicts in a healthy way.”

In Gravenhurst, the two Tim Hortons are helping the Beechgrove Public School parent council bring the school’s playground up to date. According to Rebecca Hickey from the council, the playground currently has a few logs and a small stage, but has not been updated since the early 2010s.

“Right now, the outdoor playground equipment is dated,” says Hickey. “We’re looking at making improvements that would make it accessible, and so that there is more equipment available as enrollment in the school increases.”

Hickey says they’ve priced out six different items and will buy whatever is “most fitting and needed” based on the money they raise.

Sundy says the supported organizations are excited for the campaign’s start on Monday.
“I think it’s just a great way to kick off the fall, and thank those people around you with a treat,” says Sundy.

Kruusmagi adds volunteers from each organization will be at their respective Tim Hortons, helping to make cookies and thank the people who stop by.

“Volunteers are going to be there, cheering on the drive-through customers with some signage, and chatting it up,” says Kruusmagi. “If you see us, please say hello, and if you haven’t gotten your coffee yet, please be nice to us,” she jokes.

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