Volunteers from local service clubs, community groups, town council representatives, Sylvan Lake and Area Urgent Care Committee, and Tim Hortons staff are all smiles as Tim Hortons owner John Paul Doucette presents a cheque for $21,468.93 to Susan Samson and Klaus VanVeller. This year’s Smile Cookie campaign raised the most to date.

Volunteers from local service clubs, community groups, town council representatives, Sylvan Lake and Area Urgent Care Committee, and Tim Hortons staff are all smiles as Tim Hortons owner John Paul Doucette presents a cheque for $21,468.93 to Susan Samson and Klaus VanVeller. This year’s Smile Cookie campaign raised the most to date.

Anonymous donation boosts Urgent Care recruitment abilities

An additional $100,000 windfall was added to this year’s Smile Cookie campaign in Sylvan Lake.

A large group of volunteers, Tim Horton’s staff and owners gathered together to celebrate a successful 2022 Smile Cookie Campaign, Dec. 20. Volunteers including the Sylvan Lake Fire Department, Sylvan Lake RCMP, Sylvan Lake Lions Club, Sylvan Lake Rotary and businesses including Sylvan Lake Agencies raised $21.521.93 during this year’s week-long campaign. This is the largest amount raised for the Urgent Care Committee in the last 11 campaigns, noted committee chair Susan Samson. This year all money raised by Smile Cookies were earmarked for projects and activities designed to attract and retain health care professionals to Sylvan Lake and to work in the Advanced Ambulatory Care Service (AACS).

Samson told Sylvan Lake News about the additional donation. “Sylvan Lake and Area Urgent Care Committee is also the recipient of $100,000 donated anonymously. The conditions of the donation are that it will be used for the attraction and retention of health professionals and it be matched so that there is a total of $200,000 to work with.”

The matching money is made up of the 2022 Smile Cookie Campaign and other unallocated funds banked by the Urgent Care Committee, she explained. The anonymous donor was a senior who moved to Sylvan to be with family and utilized the AACS often over a period of five years and his family appreciated the services provided. The family has decided that health professional recruitment is critical to providing seniors with non-life-threatening services and to attract and retain newcomers to the town, said Samson.

“AACS is a vital medical service in our community and area and is the first and the only place providing health care for those families without doctors, for those injured visitors, for those seasonal residents, for those injured after hours and for those suffering from the unexpected,” she added. A shortage of doctors has caused numerous and unscheduled closures at the AACS.

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