By Valerie Posthumus
The Haldimand Press
DUNNVILLE—Cookies were flying off the shelves of the Dunnville Tim Hortons as fast as staff could bake them and volunteers could decorate them for the annual Smile Cookie campaign from September 14 to 20, 2020. While all Tim Hortons locations participated in the campaign, the Dunnville location has made a name for itself as the defending champs having sold the most cookies in all of Canada two years in a row. This year they were aiming to sell 50,000 cookies in hopes of reclaiming that title, which turned out to be a humble goal as they sold well over 62,000 cookies.
“It’s absolutely an honour to be #1 in Canada, as well as be a part of such a small town with such a wonderful generous heart,” said Ryan DiTommaso, General Manager/ Franchisee, Dunnville Tim Hortons. He noted that they were first in sales as of September 20, but were awaiting the final confirmation from head office as of press time.
The Dunnville Hospital and Health Foundation (DHHF) has been the recipient of the cookie proceeds for the past four years. To date, some $84,035 has gone to the new emergency department. This includes $42,879 raised in last year’s campaign, which was again an overshot of their goal for 30,000 cookies.
While the hospital has a long list of patient equipment that will need to be upgraded very soon, this year the funds “will go towards the purchase of highest priority medical equipment at the hospital. One of our most urgent needs is a new ultrasound machine,” explained Sharon Moore, Interim President and CEO, Haldimand War Memorial Hospital.
While the campaign has been a massive success, DiTomasso explained that it takes plenty of work on all sides to make it such a success: “The entire process takes months of planning before the big week. The hospital foundation takes on the task of scheduling volunteers; without them these huge cookie numbers could not have been achieved. These volunteers are the driving force behind the amounts of decorated cookies we can produce.”
Cookies are baked 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with 10 pans baking at a time to make 120 cookies every 10 minutes. DiTomasso added, “Every year the team learns new tricks and has new ideas on how to make us just that much more efficient.”
The whole team, from Tim Hortons to DHHF, cannot thank the community enough for its support.
“Access to exceptional care right here at home in Dunnville is incredibly important. Having a hospital like Haldimand War Memorial in the heart of our community ensures we continue to support our vision of Best Care, Every Person, Every Time!” said Penny Banks, Executive Director, DHHF.
Danielle Ormonde, Events Coordinator at DHHF, said, “(The phrase) ‘it takes a village’ is what comes to mind when I think about Smile Cookie week. From the amazing staff at Tim Hortons, the incredible volunteers that take time to help out, and the absolutely astounding community…. We are so grateful as a foundation to be the recipient of the Smile Cookie week, and thankful that our organization has the support we do.”
DiTomasso is also very thankful to his team, the community, the volunteers, and local businesses “for their support, donations, and for buying the cookies.”
Board Chair Liz MacDonald expressed her appreciation to everyone involved as well: “They have done an amazing job accommodating the COVID-19 requirements and they still make it fun for us when we are decorating thousands of cookies! They have been and continue to be great partners for the foundation!”
As this year’s campaign wraps up, the Dunnville Tim Hortons is already looking toward next year and thinking about what goal they might reach as they compete for #1 in Canada yet again, all while supporting their local hospital.