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Tammy Roy (left) and Liz Warner set cookies on trays for the 22nd Annua; Cookies for a Cause fundraiser at Monument Elementary School. The event, during which donated cookies are sold by the pound, raises funds to keep children warm in the winter. Proceeds are divided between the Warm the Children program and Monument families in need. (Elizabeth Conkey)
Tammy Roy (left) and Liz Warner set cookies on trays for the 22nd Annua; Cookies for a Cause fundraiser at Monument Elementary School. The event, during
Tammy Roy (left) and Liz Warner set cookies on trays for the 22nd Annua; Cookies for a Cause fundraiser at Monument Elementary School. The event, during which donated cookies are sold by the pound, raises funds to keep children warm in the winter. Proceeds are divided between the Warm the Children program and Monument families in need. (Elizabeth Conkey)

BENNINGTON -- Monument Elementary will hold its 22nd Annual Cookies for a Cause fundraiser today to benefit local children.

Organized by Monument's parent-teacher group, AIM (Adults Interested in Monument), the fundraiser generally produces thousands of holiday cookies, according to Leigh Jelley, AIM chairwoman and an organizer of the event for the past five years.

Jelley said that more than 40 bakers -- parents, grandparents, students, and community members -- contributed to this year's "sweet" event.

"It's really open to anyone interested in helping the community," she said, noting that the event usually raises about $1,000. She hopes this year's cookie sale will prove to be just as lucrative.

Buys winter clothing

According to Jelley, half of the proceeds from the event will be donated to Warm the Children, an area fundraiser that buys winter clothing for children ages 4 to 14, while the other half will be used to buy winter clothes for Monument Elementary families in need.

"For us, this fundraiser is a way for our school community to give back," Jelley said. "We do a lot of fundraising for the kids who attend school here, but we like to have a fundraiser this time of year that our kids realize will go to the larger community and be something that will really help everybody in Bennington."

Liz Warner, a parent of two Monument children and an active member of AIM, helped prepare for the event Friday afternoon by arranging the countless cookies -- including her own Mexican wedding cookies -- on large trays for the sale.

"I think it's great that the tradition has carried on for so many years and that it continues to directly benefit people in our town who need help," she said.

Doors will open at 9 a.m. sharp, according to Jelley and cookies will be sold by the pound inside the school until 1 p.m.

Cookies left unsold are donated to the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, Jelley said.

"We have people lined up at the door every year to get that first pick at 9," she said, predicting that the same will be true for this year's event. "We had some really talented bakers this year make some really gorgeous cookies, so I'm excited."

Contact Elizabeth A. Conkey at econkey@benningtonbanner.com or follow her on Twitter @bethconkey.