This year’s Smile Cookie Campaign at area Tim Hortons locations had its best year yet. The 2023 campaign raised $230,085, all earmarked for Child and Youth Mental Health at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC). The cheque presentation was held in the Newlands Pavilion at Richardson Beach on Tuesday, Jun. 6, 2023.
According to a release from the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation (UHKF) — the charitable foundation which supports KHSC and Providence Care — the funds will help provide patient supplies, therapeutic resources, activities, and other programs to assist vulnerable patients. Last year was also a record-breaking year for the local Smile Cookie campaign, with $192,945, with funds raised going to the KHSC Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
“This is going to go a long way,” Nicholas Axas, Program Operational Director for Mental Health and Addiction Care at KHSC, said of this year’s amount. “It means a lot knowing that these delicious cookies and the Kingston community came through once again.”
Indeed, the iconic Smile Cookie campaign moved to the spring with a May 1 to 7 run in 2023 across Canada. The much-loved chocolate chunk cookies topped with a smile were available at locations throughout the Kingston area, with franchise owners, staff and, of course, customers pulling together for this record-breaking effort, according to the release.
“Kingston came out strong,” stated Tim Hortons restaurant owner Sherri Agnew. “Without the tremendous support from our community, other Tim Hortons owners, and our staff the campaign would not happen.”
This is the 20th year that the local Tim Hortons’ have designated the proceeds of Smile Cookie Week to KHSC. In that time, the Smile Cookie Campaign has raised over $1 million for the KHSC Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and other children’s programs.
“This money, it really helps families,” said Rae Brackenbury, whose family has benefitted from care through the Child and Youth Mental Health program. “You don’t realize it until it hits you at home.”