In 2006, a group of volunteers lead by Chris Landrum set out to make a difference in Farmington.

Landrum had a vision to hold a community-wide bake sale with the proceeds given to the Farmington Ministerial Alliance and St. Vincent DePaul food pantries.

From that vision came the Help the Hungry Bake Sale. Since that first sale, nearly $400,000 has been raised for the two organizations.

This year’s sale is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 18 at the St. Joseph Catholic School gymnasium.

In 2016, the bake sale and related fundraising activities brought in $67,000 to help feed the community.

The event features much more than an opportunity to purchase delicious baked goods. The café opens at 8 a.m., serving hot breakfast items such as egg casserole, biscuits and gravy, homemade cinnamon rolls and coffee. Doors open for the bake sale at 9 a.m., which features a variety of baked goods from across the Parkland.

Among the treats offered are Coca-Cola Cupcakes – baked by the mother and daughter team of Jennifer and Anna Sikes.

The two began preparing baked goods for the sale about eight years ago when Anna was 4 years old.

Now, at the age of 12, Anna said the bake sale is a favorite activity for her and her mother.

“It won’t feel like Thanksgiving unless we do it,” Anna said, with Jennifer adding it has become a part of their holiday celebrations.

Jennifer said the signature item Anna bakes is from a special cookbook by the soft drink company.

“They sell immediately,” Jennifer said. “That is the one thing she does (each year).”

Anna said she is excited about the possibility of baking stained glass cookies for this year – something she plans to practice on before the big baking night.

“You smash up hard candies – like Jolly Ranchers – that are clear until they are really fine and then you cut out sugar cookie dough so you have a place to put the crushed up Jolly Ranchers and then it turns into a stained glass design,” she explained.

Jennifer said the cookies will be a real effort “so we’ll probably stick to more traditional” items on the side in addition to the cupcakes and cookies.

Her mom said they've been asked to package the cupcakes individually this year due to how quickly they sell out.

Jennifer said most importantly through all of this is the life lesson learned through participating with her daughter – a lesson of being “missions-minded” Anna said her mother taught her from the beginning.

“Since we ourselves are so blessed, we feel it is our job to bless others,” Anna said. “And we feel like we can really do that and we love to bake, so it just works out perfectly.”

Also on tap this year are the silent auction, holiday décor raffle, free cookie decorating and – beginning at 10 a.m. – the live auction with auctioneer Mark Toti.

Landrum said some items of interest in this year’s auction include an autographed football by Gary Pinkel; Kendra Scott jewelry set from Krekeler Jewelers; basket of homemade jams, jellies, chocolates, and pastries from world renowned pastry chef Nathaniel Reid; an autographed baseball from former St. Louis Cardinal Matt Adams; as well as four rounds of golf at Osage National Golf Course in Lake of the Ozarks.

More items can be found at helpthehungrybakesale.org.

The “Cookin' Clergy” contest begins around noon, featuring a friendly competition between local ministers and pastors.

Closing out the day at 1 p.m. is the announcement of the winners in the silent auction and holiday décor raffle.

Also for sale this year will be poinsettias grown by Dr. Chad Follis, associate professor in Horticulture at Mineral Area College, and his students. Take-out orders of chili and chicken salad will also be available.

A preview of what the bake sale has to offer will take place at the Farmington Regional Chamber of Commerce “Business and Community Luncheon” on Nov. 16, with an auction of Nancy Sullivan's famous carrot cake along with Ruby Gifford's famous German Chocolate Cake.

For more information on the bake sale, contact Landrum at 573-760-5207.

Shawnna Robinson is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-518-3628 or srobinson@farmingtonpressonline.com

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