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A record: Over 25,000 Smile Cookies sold in a week to support Estevan families

This year's campaign set a new local record, raising $46,832.50 for the Estevan Early Years Family Resource Centre (EEYFRC),.
Ryan and Mandy Irwin, the owners of the two Tim Hortons in Estevan, presented a cheque for over $46,000 raised for the Estevan Early Years Family Resource Centre, through a week of the Smile Cookie campaign, to Misty Pennington, Sydney Wanner and the centre's patrons.

ESTEVAN - This year's Smile Cookie campaign will be one to remember for the Estevan Tim Hortons.

Not only did they set a new local record, raising $46,832.50 for the Estevan Early Years Family Resource Centre (EEYFRC), but they were among the top most successful fundraising locations in the country. And the most memorable part was the phenomenal community support.

"We are so grateful. The community all came together to support us for this. And we want to thank Mandy and Ryan [Irwin] and their staff for going above and beyond to make it a success," said Misty Pennington, director of programs and community engagement at the EEYFRC.

Mandy and Ryan Irwin, the owners of the two Tim Hortons in Estevan, said they sold over 25,000 cookies within a week from April 29-May 5 this year, with the EEYFRC taking on a lot of work in searching for sponsors and promoting the campaign. The cookie price went up to $1.50 to help raise more funds for local charities.

Also, a lot of sales were accompanied by matching donations. McComb Automotive, Captive Oilfield Rentals, Handy Andy's Mechanical, L&C Trucking and Highline Rentals all matched cookie sales on a particular day, up to a set amount, and Top Torque Service and Mid-City Plumbing and Heating matched all cookie sales on their respective sponsorship days.

Many businesses and individuals also sponsored cookie orders to be delivered to classrooms in different schools, first responders and others in the southeast.

"It was very community-orientated. Everyone really came together. We had 13 schools sponsored," said Pennington, noting that kids later made cards to thank the sponsors for the cookies and the smiles.

Tim Hortons staff were baking and preparing cookies all nights and days during the week of the campaign, while the EEYFRC board, staff and volunteers took care of decorations and delivery of the sponsored sets.

"Our staff smashed it out this year. They do a great job. They hit our marks every year, so thanks to them and the community," said Ryan.

"It's a very humbling experience," said EEYFRC executive director Sydney Wanner. "You don't realize all the little things that have to happen for it to build up to that. So, I will never judge a decorated smile cookie ever in my life after doing it seven days straight," she added with a laugh.

"This [$46,9832.5] is an outstanding amount made possible by the incredible group of volunteers who helped us decorate to keep up to the demand of the cookie sales all week; our teams at both locations for stepping up to bake, cool and package each and every cookie that went out the door; the awesome community sponsors for matching cookie sales each day; and to you – all of our valued guests who smiled all week long," local Tim Hortons posted on their social media. "We are so excited to see what the Estevan Early Years Family Resource Centre is able to do with these funds in expanding their programming and resources available to you."

Funds raised will help the EEYFRC to develop their programming for the six to 11 age category, and also build their future outdoor space.

The Irwins noted the annual campaign is open to all local non-profits to apply as potential beneficiaries, and all funds raised stay in the community.

"Are you part of a charitable organization that is in need of something like this? Make sure to follow us on socials as we will be putting out applications for our 2025 Smile Cookie recipient in the coming months," Estevan Tim Hortons added in their post.