090603 Tim Hortons 2

James Neiss/staff photographer Niagara Falls, NY - Tim Hortons employees with help from the Niagara Falls Police and Fire Departments encourage people to stop by the Pine Avenue Tim Hortons to donate money to their Send a Kid to Camp fundraiser.

Top city officials were pouring coffee and grilling hot-dogs Wednesday and even hitting up customers for donations to raise money to send kids to camp. From all accounts, they did a pretty good job.

“Actually, they did really good,” Nick Antonacci, manager at the Tim Hortons on Pine Avenue said of Police Superintendent John Chella and Fire Department Chief Bill MacKay who had spent some of the morning behind the counter tending to patrons who sought coffee. “They were moving the crowd along. Not bad for rookie coffee servers.”

It was a nice chance for customers to see officials in a friendly environment said Police Community Relations Detective Shawn Besi, who has been participating in the event for about five years.

“They get a chance to see the humanness in us,” Besi said. “It’s enjoyable to them. They’ve got to get a kick out of it.”

Others from the community who participated included Christopher Schoepflin, president of USA Niagara Development Corp., John LaBelle, a vice president from the Seneca Niagara Casino, and Louis Antonacci, owner of the Como and father to store manager Nick.

“It’s a beautiful cause,” said Louis. “For a lot of those kids it’s the vacation of a lifetime.”

The day is an annual event held at the franchises throughout the U.S. and Canada to raise money through coffee, doughnut and hot-dog sales, basket raffles and other special events. Last year the event raised about $9 million to send 14,000 disadvantaged children to camp, selected from the communities that the stores serve.

Mayor Paul Dyster was also among the chiefs, patrolmen and firefighters who participated. Antonacci said the mayor appeared during the lunch hour to help with the raffling of gift baskets made by Tim Hortons employees and friends.

“I think he did really well,” Antonacci smiled. “He had really good presentation.”

Trending Video

Recommended for you