Smiles are spreading from the cookies to DARE organizers.

This year’s Tim Hortons’ smile cookie campaign raised $30,722 for the Timmins and area grade six and eight D.A.R.E. programs. Program Coordinator Constable Rick Lemieux says D.A.R.E. started out as a drug prevention program, but over the past 15 years, it has changed into a decision-making program. “Instead of just talking about drugs and the health effects, what we do is talk about how to reduce their stress, we talk about peer pressure and communication which is so important.” He says we are giving the students some tools to make the choice that they want to make.

Lemieux says the $30,722 will be split between the Timmins Police Service and OPP programs to help fund the program. “The money will be used to buy the books, the Daren lions, any little things that we need for teaching supplies. A lot of it also goes towards the leadership camp, something we started a couple years ago for high school students.”

Lemieux says it’s unbelievable how much the community has come together to support this program. He says since this fundraiser started, it has grown every year. Lemieux says the first time the Smile Cookie Campaign donated to D.A.R.E., it raised $5,000. He adds he hopes they can fundraise even more next year.