Gravenhurst Tim Hortons Shares Special Four-Year Plan As Smile Cookie 2022 Wraps Up

Gravenhurst Tim Hortons Smile Cookie
Photo courtesy of Muskoka Beechgrove Public School

As the Smile Cookie campaign wraps up for 2022, the team at Gravenhurst Tim Hortons is announcing their plan to support local education for another four years.

Cookies are $1 each, and all proceeds go to local charities selected by franchise owners. Gravenhurst’s recipients for the next four years are Gravenhurst Public School, K.P. Manson Public School, Glen Orchard Public School and Gravenhurst High School. This year’s proceeds went to Muskoka Beechgrove Public School. Ashley Hrinkanic, operator of the Gravenhurst locations, said they wanted to support education because it’s the foundation of the next generation. The community response has been incredible, but the best part is seeing the excitement of the students, which is on display at both locations.

“Both stores have so many signs,” Hrinkanic said. “There’s drawings, there’s notes, there’s awesome pictures that each student has drawn, and it’s really, really nice to see.”

Students, parents and even grandparents from Beechgrove families have come in to decorate cookies. Hrinkanic wants to offer a big thank you to all the volunteers that have given their time. It’s been awesome welcoming them into the stores, and with high demand comes a need for many cookies to be made and decorated. 

“We’ve had our entire dining room filled every single day with pre-orders, volunteers decorating cookies, and most important is our staff,” she said. “Our staff at both locations have been incredible. I couldn’t have done any of this without them.”

They hope to keep the excitement going as they support other local schools over the next four years. Instead of supporting all Gravenhurst schools at once, they decided to go one by one to help each institution get the attention and funding they need for projects specific to their school.

“We really wanted to make sure each school had the opportunity to shine on their own,” Hrinkanic said. “We know all the students at each of the schools bring a different school spirit to the table, and everybody’s got different ideas. Each parent council group is unique in their own way, and I thought it was super important to make sure each school is highlighted.”

Lisa Salter, chair of the parent council at Muskoka Beechgrove, said they’re overwhelmed to see the amount of support from the school community as well as the community at large. Everyone from high school students to local councillors to people completely outside the school district have contributed.

“It’s been reassuring for the community to see how many kids this type of a campaign is going to impact,” Salter said.

She wants to thank the many people who have decorated and donated as part of the campaign as well as the staff who worked so hard to make it happen. The support has been so overwhelming that it even allowed them to make some special deliveries.

“We’ve had a lot of monetary donations that have come to us where they said they don’t want cookies, but they just want to donate to the cause and to the school, which is fantastic,” Salter said. “One of our parent council members came up with the idea of turning those monetary donations into cookies anyways, and we’re in turn giving those cookies to charities.”

The cookies have gone to Gravenhurst Against Poverty, the Salvation Army, first responders and more. They’re thrilled to be able to spread the love to local charities while still benefitting from the funds, and they can’t wait to support other schools in future Smile Cookie campaigns.

Gravenhurst Public School (GPS) Principal Dean Burke said it’s been great to see and hear the buzz surrounding Beechgrove’s campaign. It’s also wonderful to have community partners like Tim Hortons that are willing to invest in local education, he said, so he hopes it will inspire others in the community to follow their lead.

“We’ve had several years of things being stalled and shut down due to the pandemic, and so to have local businesses supporting our children and our community and helping us close some gaps, it’s fantastic support,” Burke said.

Hrinkanic and her team’s decision to support a different school each year allows GPS the chance to be in the spotlight, he said, which will help them celebrate all the amazing things that their students and staff work on each day. He’s hopeful that this year’s momentum will continue when his school receives support from the 2023 Smile Cookie campaign.

“We’ve got some plans here with our parent council of how we might leverage that support to make our school a more welcoming and inviting, inclusive place for our kids,” Burke said, “and so we look forward to our opportunity [next year].”

To support Muskoka Beechgrove Public School through the Smile Cookie campaign, visit the Gravenhurst Tim Hortons locations at 150 Talisman Drive and 2329 Highway 11 South before the campaign ends on Sept. 25.


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