This Saturday from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m., Heather Wirtz, of Macaroni Kids Cranston/Kent, and Dream Big Gymnastics will be co-hosting the second annual Cookies for Kids' Cancer bake sale.
"Last year when we had it, the day was so busy that we decided to add on two extra hours this year," said Wirtz, who was first inspired to run the event when she heard Gretchen Witt, founder of the non-profit organization, speaking at last October's Macaroni Kids conference in Florida. Witt lost her son, Liam, in January 2011 when he was only 6 years old. She and her husband, Larry, founded Cookies for Kids' Cancer in 2007 shortly after their son's Stage 4 diagnosis.
"They have marked his anniversary day in February, so they're trying to do two bake sales in every state during the month of February in his honor," said Wirtz.
Saturday's bake sale will be one for Rhode Island, and Wirtz is proud to be a part of it again this year.
"This year they are doing an incentive, 'Spread the love coast to coast' and anything made at a bake sale in February is being matched by Bormioli Rocco, 100 percent up to $25,000," Wirtz said. Bormioli Rocco is a national manufacturer of glassware. In just a few short hours last year, Wirtz's efforts raised $832 in two hours. With the additional time added onto this year's events, Wirtz is excited for the possibility of raising more money.
A Cookies for Kids' Cancer bake sale is a group effort, according to Wirtz. Local residents sign on to bake any kind of cookie they'd like, and the cookies are placed in cellophane bags with a Cookies for Kids' Cancer sticker on it and sold to the patrons at the event on Saturday. All proceeds go to Cookies for Kids' Cancer.
In addition, local businesses donate items, such as the drinks donated by The Children's Workshop, and bags for the first 100 guests, which were donated by Whole Foods and will be filled with "swag" items by the vendors who have tables set up at the event. Raffle prizes are donated as well, and given away on Saturday. According to Wirtz, the Rhody Mamas are also helping with the undertaking, helping to fill the bags with donated items. Isabelle's Princess Parties will be there from 3:30 to 6 p.m., donating their time. Children will be able to take their photo with the princess that day.
This year's bake sale will have local significance to it, as Macaroni Kids Cranston/Kent is hosting the event in honor of Belle Bradley, a local 2-year-old recently diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, or ALL. More of Bradley's story can be seen on the Kent Macaroni Kid website: http://kent.macaronikid.com/article/422008/belles-story.
"This really puts a local face to our bake sale," said Wirtz, herself the mother of three young children. "All of our proceeds will go to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, but we are doing our bake sale in honor of Belle."
As this year's event draws near, Wirtz is still accepting donations of cookies for the bake sale, items for the bags or monetary donations from those who cannot attend. For more information or to get the donation page link, contact Wirtz at firstname.lastname@example.org.