Tim Horton’s annual Smile Cookie campaign is underway once again and organizers are hoping to beat last year’s total.
Last year, $27,174 was raised, ranking Dauphin in the top 10 nationwide.
Local organizer Stacey Penner said proceeds from this year’s campaign will go to the new Maamawi Park.
“After helping out with different locations throughout the last few years, I decided to submit an application on my own since I’m invested in this one,” she said.
Penner added charities must submit an application to Tim Horton’s, which will then give approval for that charity to be the recipient of the funds raised through the campaign.
“We just had our ground breaking and I put in an application early on in 2022. Tim Horton’s starts collecting applications or looking at letters of requests in January. There’s a very specific guideline of things that they’re looking for as to who meets the criteria. And we met the criteria, so we’re lucky enough to be selected,” she said.
Last year, Johnston and Company matched all cookie sales made on the Friday of the week-long campaign. That is a strategy Penner plans to use this year, partnering with local businesses to match sales up to a certain amount.
“We spread the word and had some pretty incredible businesses step forward,” she said, adding six of the seven days have businesses agreeing to match sales. “Some of them set a cap, because you never know what you’re going into. Some of them left it wide open. Some of them said they’ll top up depending on how the sales go for each day. And some of them said they want to continue to contribute above and beyond whatever the amount of cookies are that will be matched,” Penner said.
More than $800,000 has already been raised for Maamawi Park through donations or in-kind services. But there are long-term goals that organizers would like to meet.
“For Phase 1, we are looking above and beyond the hill at the amenities, as well. But our budget for it is anywhere from $1 million to $1.4 million. So we are well underway to having enough funding to build the hill,” Penner said, adding they have already gone to tender, but due to the flooding throughout the province in the spring, Manitoba is worn thin with resources and capable trades workers who are able to work on the project. “So although we had a significant amount of interest in companies to build the hill during our first tender agreement, we could not find the right person for the job. So we’ll be retendering again very soon in the next month or two and, hope we can find our building partners,” she said.
Volunteers are needed to help with the campaign. Penner said there are two-hour shifts available for anyone who wishes to decorate cookies, hold signs or just make small talk with those using the drive-through.
Anyone interested in volunteering can call Penner at 204-647-2471 or call the restaurant at 204-638-3299. Penner appreciates everything the staff at Tim Horton’s does to make the campaign a success.
“It’s amazing the commitment that they show towards the smile cookies. And they do it with a smile on their face themselves. I just think the Dauphin Tim Horton’s must be run so well, because I’ve built a relationship with them,” she said. “And not only the management and owners, but with individual staff members who bust their butt throughout the week of Smile Cookie.”
In conjunction with the Smile Cookie campaign, there will also be a donation-based garage sale, Sept. 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tim Horton’s is accepting items for the sale at the store.
If there are enough volunteers, windshield washing will be available in the parking lot, Sept. 23, for donations to Maamawi Park.