This month marks the sweet return of Tim Hortons’ annual Smile Cookie campaign, running from Sept. 12 to 18 in locations across Canada.
During this year’s campaign, guests can indulge in a decadent, freshly-baked chocolate chunk Smile Cookie for $1 plus tax, with the full $1 being donated by Tim Hortons Restaurant owners to support 460 local charities, hospitals and community programs.
In Penticton and area that money will go to the South Okanagan Medical Foundation fundraising campaign for medical equipment for the new patient care tower.
Several Royal Canadian Legion branches throughout the South Okanagan and Similkameen are also showing strong support for Penticton Regional Hospital.
Ed Findlater, immediate past chairman for the Legion’s B.C./Yukon Command, said a combined pledge for $90,000 over five years is being made to boost the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation’s campaign to supply the medical equipment for the new PRH tower.
To date, the branches – all members of the Legion’s South Okanagan-Similkameen zone – have donated $30,000. The funding stems from Legion poppy fund monies, as well as 50/50 and meat draws.
They have a total membership of more than 4,000 so the pledge is very reachable, Findlater said. He noted the idea of a combined pledge gained solid support at a recent zone meeting.
“I thought it would be a hard sell, but it was really quite easy because they were donating to the tower anyway,” he said. “It’s just fantastic.”
The Legion’s B.C./Yukon Command, which donates $10 million a year to various charities around the province and territory, may also come on board at a later date.
“The reason we picked the hospital is this hospital is old and in need of upgrading,” Findlater said. “Everybody in our zone’s Legion branches uses this hospital at one time or another.”
To see construction of the new PRH tower getting underway adds to the enthusiasm.
“People I’ve talked to are getting excited about it,” he said. “I met a couple on the street who said they’re aboard and going for it. We might be older, but our kids are going to be using the hospital.”
Findlater has been a member of the Okanagan Falls Legion Branch 227 for several years. His wife, Mary is the branch’s immediate past-president.
“Volunteering is my thing. I just happen to be really concerned with the hospital because every veteran that I know has used the hospital,” he said. “In my view, it’s at the top.”