(Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla / Sylvan Lake News)

(Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla / Sylvan Lake News)

Top year for Smile Cookie Campaign

Over a decade of Lakers supporting local ambulatory care

This year’s annual Smile Cookie Campaign earned donations greater than any past year. The $15,520.50 raised over the span of a week will be used in support of Sylvan Lake Community Health Centre’s Advanced Ambulatory Care Service (AACS).

This donation is made possible by support from the community, local Tim Hortons employees, Lions and Rotary Club members, town council, the local M.P., Sylvan Lake Fire and RCMP departments among several others.

Tanya Doucette, the co-owner of Tim Hortons with husband John-Paul, said, “We cannot thank the people of Sylvan Lake and all of our guests enough, as well as all the volunteers and Susan Samson who organized all of the volunteers, along with our team members who made over 15,000 cookies. It was an extraordinary week and we are just so grateful for everyone to come out and support Sylvan Lake Urgent Care.” She added, “We are so thrilled to partner with Urgent Care Committee year after year so that all Sylvan Lakers have the opportunity to give back and ensure that we have the right equipment going into that facility to give Lakers the care that we need.”

Doucette said Lakers understand the importance of supporting this cause that benefits anyone who lives in or visit the town.

Doucette said, “The people of Sylvan Lake have been supporting this cause for a decade, because we all as Lakers living in this community, we know that having access to that medical facility, being able to get that service in our own community after hours when the doctor’s offices aren’t available and on the weekends, and for all the people who come to visit our town in the summer months and throughout the year, it’s such an important facility to have.

”I think that’s why so many people in Sylvan Lake have supported this program for so long because we all see that need and in our own lives, see the benefit of having that service in our community, and want to do everything we can to support it.”

Lions Club member Klaas Vanveller said, “It’s fantastic to be the third in Alberta for the amount raised, which is great for the population of around 15,000. I’m very pleased.” Lions member Laurie Norris added, “We don’t have large corporate sponsors for the Smile Cookie Campaign, so we are really lucky.”

Urgent Care Committee Sylvan Lake and area chair Susan Samson said all donations will be used towards local medical requirements.

“All the money that we raise through all our campaigns is held in trust and is used to purchase medical equipment that belongs to the Advanced Ambulatory Care Service for youth in the Sylvan Lake location.

“Sylvan Lake and area was under-serviced for this type of medical service. Like we have no hospital we just have doctor clinics. We have a population of approximately 25,000 when you look at the immediate area. We lobbied for seven years to get this type of service of advanced ambulatory care.

“We feel fortunate to have this in our community. I believe we were the eighth service like this in the province. This covers the need, the gap that we were experiencing. So, we feel compelled and committed to continue to support this service so it stays viable and they have the equipment they need to service the community in an area that we have identified.”

Samson said the campaign was held together by 113 volunteers who stood in the drive-thru and sold cookies, making up 51 one-hour shifts over seven days.

“It’s a cause that people are prepared to rally behind.

“It’s something that is overarching, and sooner or later everyone is going to need. If not yourself personally, it’s going to be your child, your grandchild, your mother. It’s something we all believe in and support,” said Samson.

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