Cam­paign launched

SMILE Cookie cam­paign kicks off at Tim Hor­tons

The Amherst News - - FRONT PAGE - By Darel Cole Amherst News dcole@amher­st­ Twit­ter: @ADN­dar­rell

The United Way of Cum­ber­land County and Tim Hor­tons restau­rants in Amherst have launched the SMILE Cookie cam­paign for 2017.

Of­fi­cials with the United Way of Cum­ber­land are op­ti­mistic this is the year the or­ga­ni­za­tion will reach its cam­paign goal.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion kicked off its 2017 cam­paign Mon­day with the launch of the SMILE Cookie Cam­paign held in con­junc­tion with Tim Hor­tons stores through­out the town.

“We’re very op­ti­mistic that we’ll raise more than we raised last year and we’re very con­fi­dent we’ll reach the $150,000 mark,” United Way president Curt Gunn said. “Last year we raised just over $140,000, but we’re do­ing a num­ber of dif­fer­ent things this year that we know will help.”

Af­ter not hav­ing a ticket draw last year, the United Way is com­ing back with a spe­cial event in late Novem­ber. The Fes­ti­val of Trees will co­in­cide with Amherst’s Christ­mas light-up and hol­i­day kick­off.

“We’d like to have a num­ber of dec­o­rated Christ­mas trees that peo­ple can bid on dur­ing an evening that will co­in­cide with light-up and the Christ­mas pa­rade,” United Way board mem­ber Dave March said. “There was a large crowd around town dur­ing those events last year so we fig­ured we should cap­i­tal­ize on that by hav­ing an event to sup­port the United Way. We want to make this an an­nual event. We’ll start small this year and make it big­ger each year.”

The fi­nale will be on Satur­day, Nov. 18 at the Amherst Cen­tre mall and will in­clude events such as a craft fair and Break­fast with Santa.

Gunn said the United Way’s an­nual cam­paign sup­ports a num­ber of mem­ber agen­cies and at least 25 pro­grams that wouldn’t ex­ist if it weren’t for the United Way’s fi­nan­cial sup­port — pro­grams such as Meals on Wheels, of­fered by the Vic­to­rian Or­der of Nurses, as well as Mag­gie’s Place’s Pop Up Pro­gram.

“The United Way is so cru­cial to so many non-profit agen­cies and sev­eral pro­grams would dis­ap­pear if not for the United Way,” Gunn said. “Pro­grams such as Meals on Wheels, the Smile and Shine pro­grams are fully funded by the VON. We just made a con­tri­bu­tion to the Amherst Preschool to buy new play equip­ment.”

Tim Hor­tons op­er­a­tions man­ager Lindy Marsh said the SMILE cook­ies have raised $47,000 in 15 years and he’s op­ti­mistic they will sell more than $7,000 cook­ies this year af­ter rais­ing $6,840 in 2016.

“It’s some­thing that we take great pride in here at Tim Hor­tons. The United Way is a very im­por­tant com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tion that helps a lot of peo­ple,” Marsh said. “I know our staff take great pride in what they’re do­ing be­cause they know peo­ple who’ve ben­e­fit­ted from the United Way and some of them have ben­e­fit­ted from its pro­grams as well.”

Dar­rell Cole – Amherst News

United Way of Cum­ber­land president Curt Gunn (left) and board mem­ber Dave March (right) help Tim Hor­tons op­er­a­tions man­ager Lindy Marsh kick off the 2017 SMILE Cookie cam­paign. For $1 peo­ple can pur­chase a cookie at any Tim Hor­tons in Amherst with 100 per cent of the pro­ceeds go­ing to sup­port the United Way that has set its cam­paign goal at $150,000.

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