|By Lori Szepelak|
SOUTH HADLEY Girls from Brownie Troop #423 are among the many area bakers who will soon be knee-deep in dough to make the annual Holiday Cookie Sale at Center Congregational Church a sweet success.
Nancy Towne is organizing the event once again and hopes to surpass last year's contributions which featured a wealth of varietal cookies from 90 bakers that raised just over $1,200. Proceeds garnered from the community event will again benefit the South Hadley Council on Aging's "Christmas Basket Project."
"The bake sale is a perfect way to help others less fortunate," Towne said during an interview with Reminder Publications, adding that she expects to make at least 18 dozen cookies herself to help a great cause.
The Council on Aging basket project ensures that for those seniors truly in need, they will receive a basket of goodies during the holiday season.
"If there is money left over, the Council on Aging uses the funds to help needy seniors pay for medicine, heating or electricity needs," she added.
Since October, Towne has been spreading the word about the need for bakers through local organizations and notes she has found everyone to be "very supportive" of the cause.
"We always surpass our donations from the year before," Towne said.
Christine Murphy, leader of Brownie Troop #423, along with co-leader Michelle Rehm, pitched the cookie sale idea to their third grade brownie troop from Mosier School and all agreed they wanted to participate.
"The girls complete community service work throughout the year and were enthusiastic and very excited when we mentioned this project," Murphy said during an interview.
Murphy and Rehm will each have six girls in their respective homes to make cookies and their goal is for each girl to create two dozen cookies as her contribution to the fundraiser.
Towne noted that persons still interested in baking for the festive affair are welcome to do so since cookies will not have to be dropped off at the church until Dec. 6 from 6 to 9 p.m. or Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bakers are asked to label the cookies either "nuts" or "no nuts," since many people are allergic to them.
"It's always heartwarming to see bakers bringing in their cookies on plates, in plastic containers or in decorative tins," Towne said, noting that if the baker would like the container back, they must put their name on it.
Cookies will be displayed on tables in the church on Dec. 7 from 3 to 8 p.m. and purchasers may buy a box for $7 which can hold more than two pounds of cookies.
"Everyone gets to pick out what they want," Towne said, noting that individuals are also given a plastic glove to ensure that germs are not spread from handling the cookies. The cookie sale continues on Dec. 8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
A craft fair featuring more than 40 vendors is also planned in conjunction with the cookie sale at the church on Dec. 7 from 3 to 8 p.m. and on Dec. 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A soup and sandwich luncheon will round out the festivities on Dec. 8 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Towne also noted that the annual Lighting of the Christmas Tree on the town common in the early evening is another nice way to tie in the holiday festivities on Dec. 7 especially since Santa Claus usually has time out of his busy schedule to make an appearance.
For more information on the bake sale, contact Towne at 536-8128.