An annual Christmas tradition is back that has provided the Parkland a source for high quality holiday candies, cookies and breads, while at the same time for more than a decade has helped out a good cause.
In the 12 years since Team Turner Chevrolet-Cadillac began holding its holiday candy and cookie sale for the benefit of Relay For Life of St. Francois County (RFL-SFC), it has become one of the area's most popular holiday fundraisers.
One of the biggest reasons for its success is that team co-chairs Glenda Straughn and Anne Strangmeier love to cook — especially when its purpose is to support Relay For Life.
Explaining why the American Cancer Society-sponsored event is so important to her and her family, Straughn said, “My brother died of cancer, my father had prostate cancer and I’ve had breast cancer. It’s been a family thing and cancer is a diagnosis you never want to hear.”
The successful businesswoman has been a part of Relay For Life for quite a few years and over time became Team Turner Chevrolet-Cadillac's top fundraiser. The team, in turn, usually raises the most donations the local Relay For Life.
Straughn, who joined the team 18 years ago, revealed the secret to her team's success in raising funds for the American Cancer Society.
“We started off slow trying to figure out what our niche was to be able to fund-raise,” she said. “You’ve got to know what your niche is. Ours just happens to be that we love to cook and people seem to like what we make. We’ve also been lucky that I have a facility we can use.”
Besides the holiday cookie and bake sale, Team Turner Chevrolet-Cadillac holds several other fundraisers throughout the year.
“We also do a Fat Tuesday Cajun dinner, a chicken and dumplings dinner and several other things,” Straughn said. “We’ve found out that when we cook, people come out so we’ve been doing a lot of dinners.”
She admitted, however, that it’s sometimes tough to raise funds in a small community — even if it's going to a good cause.
“There’s always somebody that needs help and only so much money to go around,” she said. “We've always been very fortunate that we’ve got a community that is very caring and giving and allows us to do so much.”
Straughn noted that cookie trays with an assortment of four dozen cookies can be ordered for $23 per tray and homemade candies are available at $12 per pound and $6 per half pound.
"Orders can be placed by calling 573-431-2414 or 573-431-0342," she said. "All orders will be ready for pick up on Friday, Dec. 14, starting at 9 a.m. All of the proceeds raised from our team’s holiday candy/cookie fundraiser goes to RFL-SFC to help in the fight against cancer."
Pick-up locations will be at Belgrade State Bank in Farmington and Desloge, as well as Turner Chevrolet-Cadillac in Park Hills.