Tim Hortons owners, from left, Suzanne and Abe Robalo and Harpreet Sraon hold up the cheque for $41,238 Wednesday. The money was raised during the annual Smile Cookie campaign and goes to the Foundation for Red Deer Public School’s Reading College program. Robin Grant/Red Deer Express

Record amount raised during this year’s Smile Cookie campaign in Red Deer

Tim Hortons owners presented a cheque for $41,238 that goes to the Reading College program

There was a lot to smile about Wednesday morning.

Local Tim Hortons owners presented a cheque for $41,238 to the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools as part of the Smile Cookie campaign held in September.

Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools Chairman Andy Metzger said the community support is appreciated.

“We are so excited at the Foundation that the Smile Cookie campaign raised over $41,000 this year,” he said. “For us, that’s huge and substantial and we always appreciate the support.”

All the money raised from the annual fundraiser goes toward the Foundation’s Reading College program, which inspires youth to read and write.

The program takes place in the summer at Red Deer College for youth who are struggling to learn to read. It develops their reading skills and encourages an interest in reading.

Suzanne Robalo, co-owner of the Tim Hortons at 5111 22nd St. where the cheque was presented, called the fundraiser a great partnership between Tim Hortons and the Foundation.

“It’s a nice opportunity to be able to instill some self-esteem and self-confidence in kids to go on in their life and education and feel they can do it,” she said.

Grace Page, who is a former teacher at the Reading College, called the impact on the lives of the children who have attended the program ‘invaluable.’

Kids develop a love and motivation to read, she said, and they start to think about attending college themselves.

“The kids go back to school with even more renewed vigor and we hear from the parents and teachers who say this is just amazing,” she said.

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