Generosity and taste: Cookies for a Cause Saturday supports Warm the Children

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BENNINGTON — For some Monument Elementary School parents and students, baked goods are a vehicle for giving back.

Specifically, cookies.

Parent volunteers baked dozens of cookies, along with other baked goods, for sale at the school's 27th annual Cookies for a Cause, Saturday, Dec. 8,  from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the school. The event raises money for Warm the Children, an area program that helps families in need get winter clothing for children between 4 and 14 years old.

Friday afternoon, parent volunteers, some with their children, gathered to help get the cookies ready for sale.

"I made 200 macarons for tomorrow," said Julie Anisman as she placed chocolate-covered pretzel sticks on a cookie tray.

Her daughter, Sophia Anisman, 12, worked across the table from her in Monument's kitchen.

"I wanted to come," she said. "I like looking at cookies." A seventh-grader at Mount Anthony Union Middle School, she also is a Monument Elementary alum.

All the money raised from cookie sales go to donations. Volunteers sell the treats for $8 per pound.

"It's a great tradition," said Alicia Holden, a volunteer. Her son is in third grade at Monument, and her two daughters in college also attended the school. "It's nice to teach the kids about giving back to the community."

Her son helped make the cookies — red hot snickerdoodles — the night before.

She's been participating in the event since 2002, when her oldest daughter began school at Monument Elementary.

Holden said she's not on the official volunteer list for Saturday's sale, but she said she plans to come by and help out.

"I'm going to buy some to send my daughter at college," she said.

Some years, all the treats are sold. When there are extras, they're brought to local nursing homes, said Melissa Frechette, a parent volunteer and event organizer.

In past years, volunteers have raised about $1,000 for Warm the Children, she said.

Frechette said she hopes they can double that amount this year.

This year, new promotions have been added, with the goal of increasing donations and helping local businesses, she said.

For the second year, vendors will also be selling their wares at the cookie sale. They rent tables, which adds to the donated funds collected. Every vendor has also donated an item to be raffled off.

Those raffle ticket sales will also add to money raised, Frechette said.

The vendors will be a mix of local vendors and direct selling companies, like Party Lite Candles.

Monument Elementary fifth graders will also host a cookie and hot cocoa table, and will sell reusable hand warmers. Proceeds from that sale will go toward a spring field trip.

At the sale, parent and student volunteers help package up the cookies, which people can purchase in any combination. Selections include some "classics" — like sugar and and gingerbread — but there's always a variety of options

`It's always a huge variety every year," Frechette said. "You never know what you're going to see."

Patricia LeBoeuf can be reached at pleboeuf@benningtonbanner.com, at @BAN_pleboeuf on Twitter and 802-447-7567, ext. 118.



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