By Abbey Doyle
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
Cookies made by some of Anderson’s “famous and infamous” will be up for grabs at the Soroptimist’s Cookie Walk Friday.
Margie Adair, co-chair of the annual event with Debbie Lawrence Long, said this is the women’s organization’s best fundraiser all year round. They gather cookies from community residents — each baking at least four dozen — and sell them, along with the tasty treats made by Soroptimists. The sale will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday in the Union Building downtown.
“It is a lot of fun,” Adair said. “Last year we raised $800 and had a great time.”
The money goes to scholarships for women. About 50 different cookie donors are expected this year. Cookies go for $4 a dozen, $7.50 for two dozen, $10 for three dozen, $12.50 for four dozen and $15 for five dozen. Patrons can mix and match and each batch of cookies will be labeled so shoppers know whose kitchen they came from.
State Rep. Terri Austin has participated in the fundraiser for years, typically using the recipe from her great-grandmother, Anna Mae Smith, for Mexican Wedding Cakes. When she talked about making them this year, she got a little teary-eyed as it was something she always did with her mother, who passed away in May.
“They are special to me because this was something we used to do from time when I was little,” Austin said. “It is a great recipe. You can make it ahead and freeze it, and the cookies keep for a long time if you make sure to put them in an airtight container. They make great gifts.”
For Austin, supporting the Soroptimists was an easy fit as she said they are one of a few organizations in the community that focuses on helping non-traditional women continue their education.
“It is a great way to bring people together who come in and cookie shop,” she said. “And it is a great way to get ideas for cookie recipes from other families in the community.”
Soroptimist member Marilyn Akers laughed when she talked about everyone who comes to the Cookie Walk to do their “Christmas baking” each year.
“It supports a great cause and is a lot of fun,” Akers said. “It is a yearly event that we look forward to and I know many in the community do too.”
In addition to the cookies for sale, there will be two vendors and free cookie decorating for kids from 4 to 6 p.m.
Anderson’s first-lady, Anita Smith, said she was happy to make cookies to support the event. With husband and Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith’s help — at least with taste-testing and decorating — Anita Smith baked her mother-in-law Hazel Smith’s famous Christmas cookie recipe.
“It is a cookie we have baked over the years and is a fun family activity for us,” she said. “When the kids were little we would all cut out, bake and decorate the cookies. And this is something Kevin did as a child growing up so it is special.”
Soroptimist is an international organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls in local communities and throughout the world, according to the organization. There are more than 90,000 Soroptimists in about 124 countries and territories contribute time and financial support to community–based and international projects that benefit women and girls.
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