A sweet tradition returns to St. John’s Episcopal Church on the Square in Carlisle Friday with the annual Christmas Cookie Walk.
The cookie walk will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 8, and gives visitors the chance to fill small, medium or large boxes with homemade cookies for a cost ranging from $15 to $25.
Homemade doggie treats will also be available for $5 a bag.
Carolyn Freberg, Doreen Maisano, Sandy Patsolic and Lauren Till lead the committee that organizes the event, which benefits the church’s general fund. Each woman takes charge of a different aspect of the sale. Till coordinates publicity, Masiano organizes set up, Pastolic oversees the kitchen and Freberg recruits the bakers.
It takes about 20 people per shift to make the cookie walk run smoothly. Prior to the event, other volunteers assisted with putting up posters around town.
“The best thing about this fundraising event is that it involves lots and lots of people from our congregation,” Freberg said.
Freberg said they borrowed the idea from a church in the Pittsburgh area that had been attended by the daughter of a St. John’s member. Now in its ninth year, the cookie walk features cookies that come from old-fashioned family recipes as well as more modern decorated creations.
“We try to have 100 bakers, each baking at least 10 dozen cookies,” Freberg said.
The bakers are recruited through announcements at the church, and started delivering their creations to the church Thursday morning.
“We have male and female, young and old baking,” Freberg said.
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Volunteers take the cookies from the bakers who deliver them drive-through style at the back of the church. The containers are set up with similar cookies in the kitchen. That way the volunteers refilling the tables only need to come to the window to ask for a container of cookies with nuts, cookies with fruit, or a number of other possibilities, Pastolic said.
“This is more than we’ve ever had on a Thursday already,” Pastolic said.
And there’s plenty more to come.
“Tomorrow, this whole room will be filled with cookies,” she said.
The cookies represent the backgrounds of different members of the church. Freberg, for example, baked a German lebkuchen from a modernized version of her grandmother’s recipe that originally included a pound of lard and five pounds of flour.
“It’s still a lot even using the more modern recipe, and I don’t do it more than once a year,” she said.
Maisano said people will start lining up for the cookie walk as early as 10:30 a.m. Two lines will move around the tables full of cookies as people select cookies to fill either a small, medium or large box.
“They choose what they want in them. They are not premade,” Freberg said.
Any extra cookies at the end of the event are donated to another ministry such as the Salvation Army, Carlisle CARES or a prison ministry.