Heart Cookies Spread Love Across the City
Published Monday, March 15, 2021
Bay Village Coffee fundraiser generated $18,000 in memory of Patti Hobbs
By Heather Vita
It was on the first day of February that Alan Forbes, co-owner Bay Village Coffee, recalled thinking, “Oh man, this is going to be bigger than we thought.” For the team at Bay Village Coffee had just launched a fundraiser selling large heart-shaped cookies with buttercream frosting and the response was overwhelming. “We thought we’d maybe make 100 cookies a day,” he said, “but on the first day we sold well above 100, and the demand just kept growing.”
“We knew pretty early on that our goal of raising $5,000 for the Our Hearts At Home Campaign to bring cardiovascular surgery to Thunder Bay was going to happen,” he said, “but we honestly had no idea that we’d be able to raise $18,000 by the end of the month.”
The cookie fundraiser was a memorial tribute to their dear friend Patti Hobbs who passed away after a heart attack in late 2020; the mother of Shannon Gagne, a valued part of the team at Bay Village Coffee.
“Patti was an amazing person,” said Gary Mack, co-owner, Bay Village Coffee. “She extended her love to all of us and made us feel part of her family.”
“She was always bringing us food. We were the official taste testers for many different recipes,” laughed Gary, “as she knew we worked long hours and weren’t always feeding ourselves in the most nutritious way.”
“My Mom was the type of person who lived and cared for everyone else,” said Shannon. “She was always taking care of other people and, I can guarantee, if it had been anyone else that passed away, she would have been the first to do this fundraiser in our memory.”
Continued Shannon, “Throughout the month, it was incredible to witness all the people whose lives my Mom had reached, including former colleagues from the Port Arthur Clinic and even the people who’d taken care of her in the Hospital. There were so many times people would come in to buy cookies and share a little tidbit about my Mom. Even the delivery driver who brought pizza one night when we were working late ended up knowing my Mom. The outpouring of support was so special. I want to thank everyone who bought cookies, donated or sent positive messages to our family.”
The idea for the fundraiser had actually been discussed back when Patti was in the Hospital after her heart attack. She was in the ICU for 10 days, and then in Unit 2C, when her health declined and she was transferred to Hospice, where she eventually passed away.
“You just feel so helpless,” said Shannon. “When I came back to work in January, we discussed doing the heart cookie fundraiser and it seemed like the right way to honour my Mom’s memory.”
“Our customers were so amazing with their support,” said Alan. “We even had people calling and buying cookies to donate to others.”
“We were able to use those donations to provide cookies to the Hospital Emergency Department, ICU, 2C team, the paramedics and St. Joseph’s Hospice,” said Gary. “All the places and people that cared so beautifully for Patti.”
“We even had one customer who bought over 100 cookies altogether,” said Gary. “She would purchase a few, share them with those she loved, and then come back for more. These cookies really helped spread love all over the city.”
“Our team is so proud of the money that was raised in Patti’s memory,” said Alan. “The incredible work done at the Hospital was a big factor in the support this fundraiser received. We all know people with heart disease. To know that Patti’s legacy will be to, one day, have a full cardiovascular surgery program here at our Hospital, is beyond special to Patti’s family, including her extended family here at Bay Village Coffee. We will all miss her, but we will continue to honour her memory with another fundraiser next year. I know she’d be here helping us if she could.”
All donations to the Our Hearts At Home Cardiovascular Campaign bring us one step closer to having life- and limb-saving cardiac and vascular surgery at our Hospital. You can help! Donate at www.ourheartsathome.ca or call (807) 345-4673.