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2011 Bake Sale Success – Thank You!

Last month, with the date for our seventh annual Friends of Cranbury Park bake sale inching ever closer, I found myself hesitating to send out the usual announcement.

So many Friends had been hard hit by the storm. FCP board member Leslie Vincent found herself with a most unwelcome houseguest: a very large, uprooted tree. Nearly everyone lost power, some for a week or more. Contents of countless freezers and refrigerators were summarily dumped. And there was no escaping the near-constant drone of a zillion chainsaws.

Would anyone feel like baking in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy? Was it even fair for us to ask?

Tradition won out. I asked. You answered. And if you were one of the many Friends who dropped off gorgeous pies and still-warm breads, mouth-watering cookies and beautifully iced cakes, you already know the answer: A resounding YES.

For the seventh year in a row, we were inundated with baked goods. And the results were especially sweet. In the aftermath of a brutal storm, in the midst of an endlessly stagnant economy, we took in just over $2,700. My cup – and our dessert-laden tables – runneth over. Thanks to everyone who had a hand in it.

A special thank you to Janet “The Mantlepiece” Coughenour and Lisa “Scissors” Mendelson, a dream team if ever there was one, for wrapping and ribboning their hearts out and beautifying all that they touched, and to Marcia Ciambriello and FCP Board Members Susan Garland and Leslie Vincent for their expert assistance. Awesome job!

For heavy lifting and help setting up, we thank Mark Berns, David Pearson, and FCP Board Member Anthony Carregal. Thanks to everyone who worked the floor, especially star saleswoman Joan Cronin. Clearly, you were born to do this.

Thanks to Dianne Gilmore, who ran the Cranbury Café, with able assistance from Larry Wine and FCP President Celia Maddox. Thanks to our seasoned cashiers: FCP Secretary Ursula Caterbone, and board members Amy Phillips and Jeff Conrad.

A high five to all of our high-volume bakers: Celia and her mom, Patsy Dodds of Georgia, the long-distance winner for the umpteenth year in a row; Dianne Gilmore, Aimee Russo, the entire family of FCP Treasurer Liz Halpin, Ellen Tully and Larry Wine.

We salute our record number of first-time bakers and applaud Ursula Caterbone for selling every last package of her ever-popular Honey’s Organic Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits. We marvel at Leslie Vincent, who managed to make and decorate her delicious red pepper jelly despite the tree that landed on her house. And three cheers for Jen D’Andraia, a most loyal Friend who moved away two years ago but who continues to bake cookies for us.

Our deepest appreciation to Laurie Brown, state Rep. Gail Lavielle, Marcia Ciambriello and Katie Gausepohl for their generous monetary donations. Congratulations to Gregg Carr for winning the raffle.

And finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t send a shout-out to Margee Rogers, whose idea seven years ago is what led to the Cranbury-Cranberry Bake Sale. This year, Margee’s flu kept her from her usual post in the café, but it didn’t stop her from delivering the unwieldy three-tiered cake stand that has become our official, eccentric good luck charm.

As we head into the holiday season, we wish you all peace and prosperity, along with good weather, good health and good Friends.

Nancy Shulins, VP
Friends of Cranbury Park