The Tim Hortons across from Shipyards Park was a busy spot on Tuesday afternoon as people lined up for their afternoon coffee. Included in the crowd were Yukon Special Olympians who were on hand to receive a cheque from Whitehorse Tim Hortons.
The cheque represents the amount raised during the 2019 Smile Cookie Campaign. It was a record number of sales this year for the cookie and Special Olympics Yukon received $7,568 - that's a lot of cookies.
"This time of year, 7,568 cookies, they are flying off the shelves," said Doug Terry, owner of Tim Hortons Whitehorse.
The Smile Cookie Campaign is a national fundraiser in support of local charities, from September 16-22. Each franchise can choose which organization they wish to donate too. The cookie costs one dollar and 100 per cent of the proceeds go toward the chosen charity.
Special Olympics Yukon and Whitehorse Tim Hortons have been partnering together for 10 years during the Smile Cookie Campaign.
"This is our tenth year running," said Terry, "We are very proud to be apart of the organization and it's amazing how the community stands behind the Smile Cookie Campaign for the Special O."
The money raised was from both the Tim Hortons in the city. Terry said they will set the mark even higher for next year.
"I don't know if we can sell any more cookies," laughed Terry, "7,500 we are going full out but maybe we will set the target for 8,000 next year, which seems to be a reasonable a number."
"I love the fact that Doug has laid the gauntlet that he would like to see 8,000 cookies out next year," said CEO of Special Olympics Yukon Serge Michaud. "We're up for the challenge and we know the athletes are as well."
The Special Olympic athletes get involved and help the Tim Hortons staff make the recognizable chocolate chip cookie with the blue eyes and the pink smile.
"It is always good fun, the staff loves it, the team loves it," said Terry, "and the athletes, I think, have a good time as well."
"This is a very popular fundraiser for our athletes," said Michaud. "They get to come in and help put smiles on cookies. We don't have that many hands-on opportunities to activate partnerships like we do with Tim Hortons.
"They love to see our athletes in store and helping. It's not just us putting our hand out and saying thanks for the cheque and walking away. We have our athletes and volunteers rolling up their sleeves and we are more than willing and happy to do so."
Michaud said the athletes are lining up to take part in helping out with the Smile Cookie fundraiser.
"It's amazing, we have a bit of a waiting list of athletes," said Michaud. "We have to spread the wealth around in terms of who does it. We've had athletes who have done it four or five years straight and the other athletes are noticing. They are saying 'I want a piece of that, I want to try that, it looks like a lot of fun.'"
Michaud explained how the organization plans to use the donation.
"Seventy-five hundred dollars goes a long way for a small non-profit organization like ours," said Michaud. "It can be anything from new equipment. We just had to purchase new cross-country skis so the money will help with that.
"We also have a team going to Thunder Bay at the end of February for our National games."
For the past three years, Tim Hortons has been a national sponsor of Special Olympics in Canada.