Cookie sale benefits Heisinger


Linley Pleus, 5, picks out cookie plates with her grandmother Carol Pleus at the annual cookie and craft sale Saturday morning at Heisinger Bluffs. Pleus has been taking her granddaughter for three years after taking her own kids and neices before that.

Linley Pleus, 5, picks out cookie plates with her grandmother Carol Pleus at the annual cookie and craft sale Saturday morning at Heisinger Bluffs. Pleus has been taking her granddaughter for three years after taking her own kids and neices before that. Katie Alaimo/News Tribune

A biting November chill couldn’t stop crowds of shoppers from stocking up on sweet treats Saturday morning at the Heisinger Christmas cookie and craft sale.

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Norm Sauer chooses a plate of snickerdoodle cookies from among the many different varieties.

Heisinger Bluffs and St. Joseph’s Bluffs have held the annual sale for more than 20 years, said Cathy Rosell, one of the event coordinators. The tradition started with a small baked goods sale and has expanded over the years to encompass holiday gifts and other merchandise.

Rosell, co-coordinator Hazel Dorge and activities director Nina Meeks were responsible for organizing the cookie and craft sale. All proceeds from the event will benefit residents of the assisted living center.

When the doors first opened at 8:30 a.m., Rosell and Dorge said, the lines stretched out into the parking lot and the facility’s tables were completely “mounted” with baked goods.

“I have never seen so many goodies in one place,” Rosell said. “We had to buy more tables this year.”

By 11 a.m., most of the desserts had been purchased, but the round tables still held a respectable collection of sweet treats, from gluten-free brownies made with rice flour to delicacies like pear honey.

Traditional goods like chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies were always a popular option, Dorge said, but all of the goods sold out quickly. From peanut brittle to sweet potatoes, the event held something for every customer.

In addition to edible items, the event hosted a gift sale with holiday-themed trinkets, dishware and nativity sets. Customers also had the opportunity to purchase jewelry that had been donated to the facility.

Two volunteer bakers from Chez Monet Patisserie created gingerbread houses for the raffle. The houses were filled with chocolate and white cake and fitted with roofs crafted from Rice Krispie treats.

The baking duo was new to gingerbread house building, but the finished products wouldn’t have looked out of place behind a display window.

“These are our first ones,” baker Pam Schroeder said.

Dorge estimated the cookie and craft sale would raise between $4,000 and $5,000, roughly the amount of funding previous events had brought in. She said the event had probably sold more than 12,000 cookies by the middle of the morning.

One of the greatest benefits of holding the sale in the Heisinger building, Rosell said, was that it allowed facility residents to purchase goods.

“I’ve seen sons come and wheel their parents through and come and shop,” she said, smiling.

For Rosell, the most rewarding part of the job is witnessing the impact of the funding.

“Just knowing that what we take in is going to help the residents — it’s a good feeling to have,” she said. “It does give them somewhat of a little help there.”

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