Smile Cookies will be sold at Tim Hortons stores in the Cowichan Valley, and across the country, from Sept. 13-19, with $1 from each cookie sold in this region’s stores donated to three local non-profit organizations.
They are the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Cowichan Valley, Clements Centre for Families and Nourish Cowichan.
During last year’s Smile Cookies campaign, more than $15,420 was raised in the Cowichan Valley for the three organizations, and the goal this year is to surpass that.
“When you eat a delicious hand-decorated cookie, you’re supporting local initiatives that support local children and youth to live healthier and supported lives,” a press release from Tim Hortons said.
Dianne Hinton, CEO of the Clements Centre for Families, said the organization is grateful for the support of Tim Hortons and the Cowichan community through the Smile Cookie campaign.
“Every year, funds raised through this wonderful initiative support children and youth in the Cowichan region to thrive in all aspects of life,” she said.
“From supporting social and community connectedness to supporting physical and cognitive development, your Smile Cookie purchase helps children in Cowichan to reach their full potential.”
The Island Bagel Company, located at 48 Station St. in Duncan, is expanding.
Owner John Zhang, who just took over the business six months ago, said he is currently working on opening a drive-through for the company at 160 Trans Canada Hwy.
He said the bagels for the new location will be made fresh each morning in the kitchen at the Station Street site and be transported to 160 TCH.
Zhang said the renovation at the drive-through should take about two months and he plans to open the new location on Nov. 15.
He has also been upgrading the shop on Station Street and painted the entire service area of the business over the three-day Labour Day weekend.
“I look forward to the expansion of the Island Bagel Company and meeting many more people in the area,” he said.
The Fort, a retro video and board game café in Duncan, will be moving from its location on Queens Road to 250 Jubilee St.
The opening at the new site is scheduled for Sept. 18 at noon.
Owner Emily Lavender, also known as Emily the Wizard to her customers, says on her webpage that she wanted to create a space where people could come together and have some good old fashioned fun doing the things that brought her joy growing up, which included playing board games and video games and having snacks.
There are currently more than 100 board and card games at the café, including family classics like UNO, Jenga, and Monopoly, but also modern strategy games like Terraforming Mars, Wingspan, and 7 Wonders.
Lavender said one of the main reasons she decided to move from Queens Road to the new location is because the old site didn’t have a kitchen, and she wants to serve her customers fast-food types of offerings, including milk shakes, bubble tea and tater tots.
“I want to make The Fort more enjoyable for my customers, and the extra space at 250 Jubilee St. will make that possible,” she said.
Lavender said she doesn’t plan on have a large grand re-opening on Saturday as COVID-19 health protocols are still in place.
She said The Fort is following all the protocols.
Cowichan Women Against Violence Society will receive $25,000 from Island Savings, a division of First West Credit Union, and its philanthropic partner, First West Foundation.
Overall, the partners are donating more than $92,000 to 261 charities throughout Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands as part of the Simple Generosity program.
The program encouraged the public to show their appreciation for local charities by nominating them through Island Savings’ Instagram and Facebook channels.
For each comment mentioning a registered charity operating in Island Savings’ trade areas, the First West Foundation made a $25 donation to the charity, up to $2,500.
Of all the charities supported, the top 10 were considered for a $25,000 donation, and the Simple Generosity committee used a defined set of criteria to select CWAVS as the $25,000 recipient.
“This support from Island Savings will do so much to help Cowichan Valley communities continue to thrive, and we’re incredibly grateful,” said Jan Bate, CWAVS’s executive director.
“This gift will help to reduce the wait list for our children’s counselling program so that children will get the help they need when they need it. A huge and heartfelt thanks.”
Kendall Gross, president of Island Savings, said what struck him was CWAVS’s vision of a community of safety and equality where everybody is seen, heard and understood.
“It’s so great to hear the immediate impact this donation will have, and thank (CWAVS) for all that they do towards helping our communities thrive,” he said.