Attending a Tim Hortons Foundation Camp was a life-changing experience for 18-year-old Calgarian Connor Devine.

“It helps you realize who you might want to be and awaken yourself inside,” Devine said. “Striving for greatness, achieving your highest potential.”

Now Devine is helping to spread the word on the annual effort to share that experience with more young Canadians.

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“Camp Day” happens Wednesday July 21 at Tim Hortons locations across the country, the company’s biggest fundraising event of the year.

“The kids in those families often would never have an opportunity to be able to go to camp, because camp is very expensive,” Tim Hortons franchisee Pearl Hystad said.

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All proceeds from coffee sales on Wednesday go toward sending kids to camp, with customers also able to help out by buying bracelets.

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“They have key words (on them) that the camps are trying to instill in these kids,” Hystad said. “Resilience, leadership, courage and confidence.”

The foundation is carrying on through the COVID-19 pandemic, switching the camps online for the second summer in a row.

“The mental health supports, the leadership skills, all those things are still happening to help these kids with all those unique challenges that are presented with COVID,” Hystad said.

Looking through a scrapbook containing photos of Connor’s five years at camp, his mom enjoys sharing the good memories.

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“Here he is wall climbing, so this is an experience that I wouldn’t have been able to afford,” Bonnie Devine said. “So, yeah, it’s a really excellent opportunity.”

Devine is grateful that the virtual version of the camp is there for her son this year.

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“During COVID, it has been a struggle for them and this is a great outreach for them, to be able to connect with others,” Devine said.

Devine is inviting all Canadians to stop in at a Tim Hortons location on Camp Day.

“You’re supporting kids being able to join the camp and have a wonderful experience.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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