The Portage la Prairie Family Resource Centre (FRC) was the charity of choice for Tim Horton's Smile Cookie campaign this year, with patrons being able to purchase cookies from the restaurant, or have them delivered by a special team.

The Program Director for the FRC, Peter Thiessen, explains.

"Parents, teachers or a school would purchase cookies. Then I would take a friend of mine, Puppet Peter, and we would go and deliver them. We'd go and visit the classrooms or the daycare rooms and do a little bit of a performance, as well as bringing some delicious cookies."

Peter and his felt counterpart entertained students in a variety of schools over the program's duration, but he was surprised at some reactions.

"The kindergarten classrooms are definitely my favourite. That's where you get the most enthusiasm or excitement about seeing the puppet. There's a little bit more of the magic of seeing this character, who looks suspiciously like me, but a little bit different. So that's super fun. I was really surprised when I visited some older classrooms. Grade 4 classrooms, they were just curious about how [Puppet Peter] worked and where I got his clothes from. I knew that the younger kids really loved connecting with him, but even some of the older kids thought he was fun."

On the subject of the funds received from the campaign, Thiessen was eager to share the mission statement of the FRC.

"We want to be of support for all families in Portage la Prairie and the surrounding area. We want families to grow up to be happy and healthy. For some families, we're just a little piece of that journey. So, the money will be super helpful in contributing to our programming, and allow us to keep offering our free programs to families.  I just want to say how grateful we are to Tim Horton's for choosing us, as well as to our awesome community of Portage, for all their support"

The total amount raised has yet to be shared.