Church preparing for annual ‘cookie walk’ fundraiser

DOVER — The Great Christmas Cookie Walk shut down after five great years.

Saint Andrew’s Lutheran Church parishioners and friends wanted it back, they said.
Following three years of rest, co-founders Lori Speed and Terri Brown summoned the energy to resume the tasty fundraiser.

“When you do an event like this it’s all consuming and exhausting,” Ms. Speed said. “We talked about it and decided that both of us had to buy into it completely for it to resume.”

Next Saturday at 9 a.m., attendees can begin purchasing bakery boxes and fill them with their choice of 140 homemade cookie varieties placed on 40 large round tables.
The event at 425 N. Dupont Highway continues until the treats run out, typically by noon or so.

“It’s back by popular demand and a lot of requests,” Ms. Brown said.
The lifelong friends have coordinated approximately 100 volunteers to decorate, bake, create and store the cookies.
“We know each other so well and both love to bake so we don’t have to talk about it too much, we just do it,” Ms. Speed said.
Three box sizes costing $8, $14 and $25 will hold from one to four pounds of cookies. They can be filled as tightly as possible as long as the box closes completely.

Lines form well before the event opens and early arrival is encouraged. The church opens its doors to wait inside for comfort purposes.
This should be the biggest event yet, according to inventory manager Maryann Klemmer.
“Every year after it started it continued to grow and grow and grow,” she said. “The cookies are amazing and Lori and Terri are so inventive. People are looking for it, they’ve constantly asking when it’s coming.”

Said volunteer Ruth King, “(Lori and Terri) know their stuff. You get your assignment and go right to work as part of the group.”
On Saturday, Amber Bowman was creating “Church Mice” cookies for future sale — an Oreo cookie with cherries dipped in chocolate and a Hershey kiss, almond ears and a cherry tail.

Ms. Bowman was on her own at a table, while other groups of young and old, men and women sat together folding boxes, decorating, cutting and storing cookies.
“This feels like one of those events where age doesn’t matter,” Ms. Bowman said. “We can always find something to do for anyone who asks.”

Three days after first entering the church as prospective new members, John and Pattie Toll volunteered to join the fun.
“The Christmas spirit runs high here, I can tell you that,” Mr. Toll said.
Pre-orders will be accepted through Thursday (to be picked up Saturday or by appointment) and cookie trays are also available for $50.

The fundraiser was originally started to assist the church mortgage payment, but has shifted to the general fund designed to support the Dover area community, the co-founders said.

The Cookie Walk can be found on Facebook @thegreatchristmascookiewalk and Instagram @greatchrismascookie.
More information is available online at SALCDover.org or by calling 736-1617.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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