September’s Smile Cookie campaign was the strongest one yet in support of the Horizon Women’s Centre, as $21,226.79 was raised over the week to help residents fleeing domestic violence.
The campaign ran from Sept. 13-19 and saw over 21,000 cookies sold in that stretch, which meant Sturgeon Falls’ Tim Hortons sold the most Smile Cookies in all of Northern Ontario.
“What a great community to support us like that,” beams Linda Lafantaisie, executive director of the Horizon Centre. “I’m in awe. We’re so, so appreciative!”
The total was up several thousand from last year, when $18,294 was raised for the Horizon Centre. This is the third year the Smile Cookie campaign has supported the shelter, but for the first time, Horizon employees had to strap on aprons and get involved in the baking side of things, due to staffing shortages brought on by COVID-19. Lafantaisie says she and her coworkers would go in during evening shifts and help bake the cookies for the following day.
One hundred percent of the proceeds from each sale goes back to the shelter.
“It is so awesome and we appreciate it so much because if not, we wouldn’t be able to raise that amount of money. It would take me about five years to raise that,” says Lafantaisie. “That’s why we wanted to do everything to make it possible.”
They also helped decorate the 7,366 cookies that were bought through presale.
The money raised will go towards addressing residents’ needs, whether that’s supplying them with clothing that they’re unable to bring when leaving an emergency situation or covering medical expenses.
“That takes a big load off of us, because sometimes we have residents that have medical needs that aren’t covered, so $1,000 right there can go pretty quickly,” says Lafantaisie.
Lafantaisie is particularly thankful to local Tim Hortons managers Tyler Rivest, Diane Rifou and Lise Larocque, owners Bob and Audrey Rivest, and all the employees at Tim Hortons and the Horizon Centre that helped during the week.
“It’s tiring, but if they could just see – the people that purchase the cookies and employees – the impact that it has on our shelter, they would be amazed,” she sums up.