The Orillia Youth Centre (OYC) was presented with a cheque for $86,872.57 on Tuesday morning thanks to the recent Tim Hortons Smile Cookie campaign.
The OYC was selected by Orillia franchisees for the campaign after corporate officials asked them who would be a worthy community recipient for this year's Smile Cookie fundraiser.
“I talked to my marketing person and then she reached out to the OYC and asked them to send us a proposal," explained Orillia Tim Hortons owner Jen Adams. "We loved what they sent back."
Fellow Orillia franchisee owner, Valerie Hale, says the values of the OYC align with the values of the popular coffee chain.
“The biggest foundation we support is the Tim Hortons Children’s Foundation,” she said. “We are always supporting kids with need.”
Now more than ever, Adams says it’s important to support youth.
“COVID caused a lot of issues with mental health,” she said. “That’s why we really wanted to target that as our focus to help out with.”
Youth Centre manager Kevin Gangloff says the Smile Cookie campaign is “absolutely tremendous.”
“When you are able to provide opportunities for youth of all walks of life in our community and keep everything free of charge, it’s invaluable,” he said.
Gangloff says the money raised through the campaign will allow the OYC to expand on some different opportunities and grow its programming.
“If we can keep young people engaged and active in our community; it allows them to flourish and develop in different ways,” he said. “This money allows us to plan forward, knowing there will be consistent programming and opportunities for youth.”
Gangloff applauds Tim Hortons for their generous fundraising efforts and the volunteers and organizations, such as the Orillia Lions Club, who assisted with the program.
“It shows that the community is involved with supporting young people in our community,” he said. “It’s about partnership, growth, and supporting each other.”
Gangloff says Tim Hortons and its employees "truly went above and beyond" during the campaign. Some employees even volunteered their time to the campaign on their days off.
"It's a lot of extra work for Tim Hortons and it adds another thing to what they do every day," he said. "It's unreal."