More than $11 million was raised during Tim Hortons Camp Day fundraiser June 5. Ponoka’s restaurant raised $4,767 in donations from customers, and owners and brothers Darryl and Wayne Marsden couldn’t be happier.
Every year people from the community help by serving drinks or asking for donations of $1 for the Rent-a-Tent or $5 for the Rent-a-Cabin stickers. Money from those donations helps kids who can’t afford to go to camp. Kyle McGarva bought three cabins for the cause. “It helps kids get out and socialize with other kids.”
One Tim Hortons employee was able to take part in a camp when he was younger. Mark Dixson was in Grade 8 at the time and lived in Saskatchewan. “I know what it feels like for Camp Day.”
“It was my first time on a plane. Heck, it was the first time I got to go camping,” he added. “I cherish it.”
Volunteering her time to help was Jen Bomak from Servus Credit Union. She feels spending the time to help is worthwhile. “It supports a good cause.”
Being able to give back to the community with this program is important to Darrell Marsden. He had a chance to tour Tim Hortons Onondaga Farms in St. George, Ont. and the joy on kids’ faces has left him with a lasting memory. “To see underprivileged kids so happy…It’s great to give back.”
“When I was there they had 20 First Nations kids with diabetes,” added Darrell.
Every single penny from the fundraiser goes to the Tim Hortons Children’s Foundation, which helps send more than 15,000 kids to one of six camps around the country. Businesses also donated gift items to help raise funds. Draws for the prizes were held throughout the day.
Despite not making their goal of $7,000 the Tim Hortons restaurant kept volunteers busy pouring coffees and filling out stickers. Wayne Marsden is grateful to customers for their support of the program. “Deep pockets, they’re willing to help.”
“Thanks to the Town of Ponoka, businesses and community for another successful year,” added Wayne.
A monster truck was on hand to give people rides in the Tim Hortons parking lot as well.
The main goal is to give disadvantaged children aspirations of a better future, said Dave Newnham, vice-president and executive director, Tim Horton Children’s Foundation in a press release. “None of this would be possible without the support of our loyal guests and dedication of our Tim Hortons restaurant owners and team members. Thank you to everyone who bought a coffee and made a donation to help make this year’s Camp Day a great success.”
Camps offer three types of programs: a summer camp for kids aged nine to 12, a camp throughout the year working with schools and youths aged eight to 18 and a youth leadership program with five stages that works on leadership skills.