Next week, Tim Hortons iconic Smile Cookies will be available to purchase at participating restaurants. From September 19 to 25, Kingston restaurant owners will again donate the full $1 from every Smile Cookie purchase to support Kingston Health Sciences Centre’s (KHSC) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
“I think it’s safe to say our community gets excited for the Smile Cookie campaign every year,” shared Evelyn Maizen, Board Chair of UHKF. “Last year, thanks to the incredible commitment of local Tim Hortons staff and enthusiastic community support, the 2021 Smile Cookie campaign raised a record $156,806 for the NICU! Next week, buy a smile or pre-order your cookies for the office! Every Smile Cookie makes a difference in our community.”
Earlier this year, Brock and Brittany Cook, a local Kingston couple, were thankful for the care they received at KHSC’s NICU when their son, Cale, was born prematurely at 29 weeks.
“We are very grateful for the care and support we received from all of the NICU staff,” said Brittany Cook, this year’s University Hospital Kingston Foundation (UHKF) Smile Cookie ambassador.
“They were the silver lining in our experience and taught us everything from diaper changing to bathing—they truly were mentors in our parenthood adventure. We couldn’t have done it without them. We like to say that Cale signed us up for early parenthood classes.”
The NICU at the KGH site is the only high-risk obstetrical centre for southeastern Ontario. Kingston is one of only five communities in the province to offer sophisticated, innovative high-risk neonatal care and is part of a provincial network of specialized neonatal services, with 14, Level 2 and eight Level 3 (higher acuity) beds, according to the UHKF. The KGH site cares for babies from Kingston and the region, as well as from across the province when other NICUs are full.
More than 400 newborn babies are admitted to the NICU each year, UHKF stated. The average occupancy rate is 108 per cent and the number of admissions is expected to rise over the next decade.
“I continue to be amazed by the tremendous community support year after year for Smile Cookie,” said Sherri Agnew, Tim Hortons Restaurant owner. “We couldn’t do it without the commitment of staff and 18 years of enthusiastic community support. Please buy a cookie this year to support our tiniest patients at KHSC and their families. Let’s break the record again!”
Those pictured in the photo of Tim Hortons restaurant owners and UHKF representatives are (L to R; all Tim Hortons owners unless otherwise noted): Amit Seth, Ashley Balfour, Vinod Gupta, Deepak Seth, Evelyn Maizen (UHKF Board Chair), Bayne Saunders, Leanne O’Mara, Sherri Agnew, Morgan Hemlow (behind Sherri and Leanne), and Sarah Lewis (UHKF staff).
Those pictured in the photo of spokespersons for the 2022 Tim Hortons Smile Cookie campaign in support of the local NICU are (L to R): Damiano Loricchio, Program Operational Director, Women and Children, KHSC; Jessica Hutchings and Spencer Elizabeth, NICU Alumnae; Dr. Faiza Khurshid, Neonatologist, KHSC; Dr. Bob Connelly, Neonatologist, KHSC; Brittany and Brock Cook, NICU Alumnae, and; Michelle Tryon and Brooklyn, NICU Alumnae.