It’s a shade more than a baker’s dozen as 21,000 smile cookies are now out for delivery across Grande Prairie, with all the money raised going towards the Grande Prairie Hospital Foundation. The annual baked goods bonanza, now in its 11th year, is the brainchild of local business owner Sean Sergant, representing the Sargent Family Foundation, Ken Sargent GMC, and Sean Sargent Toyota.
Sargent, who loads up his A-Team van and starts the process of dropping off cookies to schools, offices and the hospital, says it’s an honour to help deliver so many smiles across the municipality, even if some of the recipients don’t quite recognize the formerly hit show’s centrepiece.
“I still run into teachers, students, and parents, and they always tell me how much the kids look forward to me coming out every year and doing this, that warms my heart and keeps me wanting to do this It’s a trifecta; I feel good buying them, I feel good giving them out, and people feel good getting them, and even on top of that, the hospital gets the money,”
“It’s a funny thing, driving the A-Team van, the kids don’t really know what it is, but they think it’s cool, and the teachers love it and want to get their picture taken in front of it than the kids do,” Sargent laughs.
He says, in addition to the feel-good factor the week of deliveries brings, the $21,000+ that makes its way to the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital is equally as important.
“It truly is a great facility, it’s a place you never want to go to, but if you have to, we want to make sure that the patient care is the best you can do, and that’s what the hospital foundation does,” he says.
“Alberta Health Services only funds so much for the hospital, and then the hospital foundation throws in the extra money for the [best] care and equipment we can get,” he adds.
Overall, Grande Prairie helped raise $65,000 through the week-long smile cookie campaign in 2022.