A Farmington youngster who is a big fan of the Help The Hungry Bake Sale — which is returning for its 17th year to the St. Joseph Catholic School gymnasium Saturday — decided she wanted to help collect money for the annual fundraiser in a unique way this year.
When 9-year-old Icelynn learned that her mom, Allison Paultz of Farmington, was planning to donate some extra items lying around the house to charity, she told her mom that she had a different plan in mind.
“I’ve been getting rid of stuff,” Paultz said. “I had a guest room like a quarter of the way full with stuff. I was like, ‘I’m going to donate it, and she said, ‘But we need to have a yard sale, Mom!’ I was like, ‘No, I don’t want to have a yard sale!’ She told me, ‘But we have to do it for the poor people who are hungry!’ I said, ‘Well, we can just donate it to the Ministerial Alliance, and all the money from there goes to the food bank.’ Icelynn told me again, ‘But we need to have a yard sale, Mom!’
“I was like, ‘OK, but you have to do it all. It’s not my thing. I’m not taking responsibility — single parenting four children is enough. I’m not adding the responsibility of a yard sale!’ She said, ‘OK.’ I told her, ‘Let’s just do everything in order. I don’t want to have to price stuff — that’s just too much.’ She said, ‘OK.’ I told her, ‘But we’ll tell people that it’s going towards the Help The Hungry Bake Sale.’”
Paultz explained that she and her family began attending Memorial United Methodist Church in Farmington after another family started going there.
“It’s so funny — my kids love the minister,” she said. “My kids had wanted to go and wanted to take their sister. So, I took them the first time and introduced myself to the minister. I was in a mood. I said, ‘Here’s the deal — my children want God. If there is love and kindness here, I will bring them. If they learn any sort of judgment or I feel any sort of pressure, we will stop.
“He hand wrote me the sweetest page-long letter that said, ‘This is a love and kindness church. There is no judgment.’ So, we have been going for three years. Oftentimes we go to both the 9:15 and the 10:30 service because my children adore his children.”
The minister of Memorial United Methodist Church is Rev. Ron Beaton. In recent years, the pastor has finished in first place as a participant in one of the bake sale’s most profitable auctions — a cake-baking competition between local ministers.
Paultz said, “I told Icelynn, ‘How about if you donate all the money to the church for the pastor’s cake?’ She was so excited, and he was tickled pink by it. So, the pastor and his son walked over to our house for the yard sale. Then, a couple of neighbors came. A couple of random people stopped by.
“I did not do much to advertise because, again, it was so much work! Icelynn was very proud of herself. Some people, like my mom, gave an additional donation because they knew what the money was for. It was great — and, yes — Icelynn has a heart of gold.”
The 17th annual Help the Hungry Bake returns from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday to the St. Joseph Catholic School gymnasium. This year’s theme is “Bake it to 1 Million.”
All of the proceeds from the Help the Hungry Bake Sale goes to the Ministerial Alliance and St. Vincent de Paul food pantries in Farmington. After the committee discovered the bake sale has raised $875,000 for the two food pantries over the past 16 years, they decided to set a goal of raising $125,000 this year. That’s the reason why this year’s theme is Bake it to 1 Million.
New this year is Kids’ Corner, where parents can drop off their children to take part in fun activities under adult supervision. Heading it up is retired elementary teacher Cindy Danieley, who said she is very excited about entertaining children while at the same time helping out parents who want to shop without watching after their kids.
“I told Icelynn, ‘How about if you donate all the money to the church for the pastor’s cake?’ She was so excited, and he was tickled pink by it.” – Allison Paultz
Kevin R. Jenkins is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-783-9667 or firstname.lastname@example.org