by Tiffany Hyman
Imagine the taste of a warm, soft vanilla dip doughnut frosted and topped with white and blue sprinkles melting in your mouth. Sounds scrumptious, right?
Enjoy this treat for just 85 cents through Sunday, Aug. 7, and benefit the agency that serves more than 800 people throughout Niagara County.
Nine local Tim Hortons locations have partnered with Opportunities Unlimited, a non-profit agency designed to help people with disabilities, and created this fundraiser profiting the organization 100 percent.
"We're just thrilled over the partnership," said Roxane Albond-Buchner, manager of communications at Opportunities Unlimited. "It's amazing Tim Hortons sees our foundation as something to invest in. Through brainstorming, the Opportunities Unlimited doughnut was created."
"It's a great opportunity to help out the community," said Bob Burns, owner of four of the nine participating Tim Hortons and an active community member.
Burns is a successful businessman - he is credited for opening the first Tim Hortons franchise in Niagara County. He recently received the Business of the Year award by the Town of Niagara Business and Professional Association. He is also a sponsor of the Lewiston Jazz Festival, Thunder of Niagara Air Show and the Lewiston Kiwanis Peach Festival.
Burns explained the fundraiser idea started when he heard a speech by an Opportunities Unlimited board member, who spoke of her gratitude to the agency for providing her two disabled daughters with amazing opportunities.
"It was such a moving speech," said Burns.
"I don't think there was one single dry eye in the room," said Albond-Buchner. "Her speech was so touching and I think it helped create awareness of those who are disabled."
Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara helps to rebuild lives. Its goal is to "maximize personal potential through dignified and purposeful living." The organization provides exciting opportunities for the disabled, such as day programming, service coordination, recreation, geriatric assessments and fine arts and technology instruction.
Cuts in Medicaid not only affect individuals, but businesses, too, including Opportunities Unlimited. Fundraisers, like the Tim Hortons promotion program, help keep the organization in business. Albond-Buchner said the company is seeking other partnerships to invest in them.
The Opportunities Unlimited doughnut is available at the following participating Tim Horton's locations:
•8500 Niagara Falls Blvd., Niagara Falls.
•2720 Military Road, Niagara Falls.
•3024 Pine Ave., Niagara Falls.
•2248 Niagara Road, Wheatfield.
•5816 S. Transit Road, Lockport.
•4 Transit Road, Lockport.
•3984 Lockport Olcott Road, Lockport.
•748 Niagara Falls Blvd., North Tonawanda.
•459 Division St., North Tonawanda.