Submitted photo.                                 Ashcroft and District Lions Club president Sue Peters (left to right); Ramona Yurkiw; Robert Belin; Lions Edie Dibley and Vivian Edwards; and Esso Travel Centre Tim Horton’s manager Damian Couture at the restaurant on Sept. 16.

Submitted photo. Ashcroft and District Lions Club president Sue Peters (left to right); Ramona Yurkiw; Robert Belin; Lions Edie Dibley and Vivian Edwards; and Esso Travel Centre Tim Horton’s manager Damian Couture at the restaurant on Sept. 16.

Smile Cookie sales will help local student purchase new hearing aids

‘Last year we raised just over $3,000. This year we’ve raised considerably more’

This year, the sale of Tim Horton’s Smile Cookies in Ashcroft will go to benefit a local boy in need.

Ashcroft Tim Horton’s manager Damian Couture said that the young man who will be the recipient of the funds is no stranger to volunteering around the community himself.

From Sept. 16 to 22, Tim Horton’s raised money through the sale of Smile Cookies at the Esso Travel Centre on Cornwall Road. Every dollar raised during that time will help to purchase new hearing aids for 13-year-old Ashcroft resident Robert Belin.

Belin has had hearing aids since he was six years old but he has outgrown his current set, and his family needs help to purchase new ones. Belin and his mother Ramona are both very active in the community, collecting bottles for organizations like the Food Bank and helping out with Christmas Hampers, Sea Cadets, and soccer. Belin is an active member of the local Sea Cadets and loves to play soccer himself.

The Ashcroft and District Lions Club helped Belin purchase his first set of hearing aids and recommended that he be the recipient of this year’s Smile Cookie funding after learning of his need for a new set.

Each year, Tim Horton’s restaurants participate in the Smile Cookie campaign, leaving communities to choose for themselves how and where to distribute the funds raised, explained Couture.

“Here in Ashcroft, previously we have worked with the Minor Hockey Association. Last year we decided to work with the Lions.”

Tim Horton’s collaborated with the Lions Club to donate the Smile Cookie proceeds to the Ashcroft Fire Department, but this year Couture discovered that a local family could benefit from the support.

“I was speaking with the executives for the Lions, asking what they want to see happen, where they want this money to go, and they mentioned Robert.”

Deciding where the funds from September’s Smile Cookie campaign end up is really up to the store and the association that they work with, Couture, explained. Other Tim Horton’s restaurants may donate to a local non-profit or their community hospital, but this year, the Ashcroft establishment chose to help out one family in particular.

Couture said that his restaurant is always eager to help out kids and make a meaningful impact in the community.

“Robert and his mother Ramona are very involved in the community [themselves]. They’re involved in multiple different groups. They’re always helping out and volunteering. They needed a little extra help with this and so they [the Lions] wanted to help out.”

Couture said that Lions members were on site at the Tim Horton’s for each day of the campaign, helping to up-sell the cookies and bring in more sales.

The Smile Cookie campaign concluded on Sunday, Sept. 22 and Couture said that he won’t have the community’s final sales total for a few more days. Despite not yet having the official total confirmed, Couture was confident that Ashcroft’s Smile Cookie sales this year have exceeded those collected in recent years.

“Last year we raised just over $3,000. This year we’ve raised considerably more.”

Lions Club secretary Vivian Edwards was happy to be supporting the Belin family once more and said that Robert is a young man deserving of the funds. On Tuesday, Sept. 24 the group did not have a final total but noted that they sold over 6,000 cookies in Ashcroft during the campaign.

More than 800 Smile Cookies were sold on the first day of the campaign alone. The Lions thanked Tim Horton’s for giving them the opportunity to help someone in need. The Lions Club would also like to say ‘thank you’ to Willow Anderson at Home Hardware and Dale at Jim and Joe’s Trucking for their generous donations. ‘Thanks’ also to everyone who purchased Smile Cookies throughout the campaign.

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