THUNDER BAY – A little heart-shaped cookie is raising an awful lot of dough to help bring cardiac surgery to Thunder Bay.
Baked and sold at Bay Village Coffee, the cookies have been flying out the door throughout the month of February, helping the locally owned cafe raise more than $10,000 toward the $14-million Our Hearts at Home campaign.
The fundraiser is being held in honour of Patty Hobbs, whose daughter Shannon works at the popular eatery.
Patty Hobbs suffered a heart attack last October and died in a month later, after spending a month in the hospital’s intensive care unit and then in a hospice setting, her family mostly unable to visit her during her final days.
Shannon Hobbs said her mother would be thrilled to know the legacy of her memory will help raise money for something that will benefit those who live in Northwestern Ontario for decades to come.
“My mom was just a very giving, loving, kind person who always tried to give back to the community,” Shannon Hobbs on Thursday said.
“We just thought this way one way to honour her. This is something she would have done for somebody else, so we just something we decided to do in her honour, in her name.”
Hobbs and Bay Village Coffee co-owners Alan Forbes and Gary Mack had no idea how many cookies they’d sell over the course of the four-week campaign, which began in February, also known as Heart Month.
They set an initial goal of $5,000, with half the proceeds from the $5 cookies being donated to the campaign.
Mack said it’s been overwhelming – but in a good way.
“So far we’ve sold over 4,000 cookies, raising $10,000 for cardiac care here in Thunder Bay,” Mack said. “We did not expect this at all. We’ve been blown away. We had no idea we’d be selling more than $4,000 cookies and there’s still lots of the month left to go.
“So we’ll be baking cookies all month and we’re hoping to have a great big cheque for the Our Hearts at Home campaign.”
Forbes said he was equally surprised at how eager their customers have been to help the cause.
“The response from the community has just been so overwhelming. We’ve got people ordering cookies from as far as B.C. and Yukon. People are ordering them and wanting to pay them forward. We’re getting calls saying I’d like to buy 20 cookies ... just give them away,” Forbes said.
“That’s been really, really great.”
The Our Hearts at Home campaign aims to raise money to expand an existing operating room for cardiac cases, build a dedicated operating room for vascular surgery, create a new coronary care unit and cardiovascular ambulatory care facility and a 14-bed cardiovascular surgical unit.
Bay Village Coffee is located at 221 Bay Street.