Community responds in big way to Tim Hortons fundraiser for employee fatally struck by vehicle

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 January 2022 at 11:05 am

More than 1,000 doughnuts sold, $1,000 donated in first four hours this morning in fundraiser for Theresa Karlak’s family

Photos by Tom Rivers: These doughnuts with vanilla frosting and colorful sprinkles are being sold today and on Wednesday as a fundraiser for Theresa Karlak’s family. Theresa, 18, worked at the Tim Hortons in Albion the past six months.

ALBION – The Tim Hortons in Albion wanted to help Theresa Karlak’s family after the popular employee was fatally struck by a vehicle while walking on Saturday in Eagle Harbor.

Theresa was hit by the vehicle at 8:46 p.m. Her younger sister, 13, also was hit and suffered minor injuries.

Michael Curran, a baker at Tim Hortons, puts sprinkles on doughnuts being sold as a fundraiser for Theresa Karlak’s family.

Theresa’s co-workers loved her, and wanted to help her family during this tragic time.

The employees and store owners decided to sell a special doughnut in her honor today and on Wednesday. The vanilla dipped doughnut with colorful sprinkles costs $1.25. The entire amount goes to Theresa’s family.

Theresa Karlak

More than 1,000 of the doughnuts sold within four hours this morning, and customers also gave more than $1,000 in cash donations. Many of the customers paid well above the bill and wanted the extra to go to Theresa’s family.

The fundraiser was planned to go until 5 p.m. today but there might be a sellout before 5 p.m. The fundraiser will resume on Wednesday at 5 a.m.

Theresa was well-liked for her hard-working ethic and high energy. She brought that positivity to Tim Hortons, even on the very early morning shift, which started at 3:30 a.m. After Tim Hortons she would then go to work at Tops in Albion.

“She was a morning person, there is no doubt about that,” said Michael Curran, who joined her many days as the first employees in the building. “She had a high energy level, right off the bat.”

Theresa was one of 10 children in her family. She loved to take her siblings on walks and bring them treats, the family wrote in her obituary.

Sheryl Miller, one of the bakers at Tim Hortons, gets the frosting ready for the doughnuts.

Jennifer Karbowski, one of the store owners, praised the community and her staff for their response.

“She was a sweet girl and we all wanted to help the family,” Karbowski said. “My staff has been very enthusiastic. We’re like a family and we lost somebody who we care about.”

Some of the Tim Hortons pause for a photo in the kitchen at the Albion store. In front from left include Jennifer Karbowski, Melissa Kuhn and Jenni Simpson. Back row: Nate Simpson, Jared Karbowski, Michael Curran, Sheryl Miller and Samuel Robinson.