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KOOL Cookies: local church group to help fund hurricane relief

By Cara L. Dempski

GLENWOOD CITY — It is a universal truth that most children love cookies.

For that matter, there are quite a few adults who love them too.

The Kids of Our Lord (KOOL) youth group that meets at Glenwood City United Methodist Church every Wednesday afternoon is hoping much of Glenwood and the surrounding area loves cookies too.

The group is working diligently to mix cookies and freeze the dough until orders are received and the eight different varieties can be baked and picked up either October 25 or November 1. Individual cookies will cost 50 cents each, or three can be purchased for $1.

The KOOL group has spent the past several weeks researching cookie recipes, and then mixing dough, forming balls, and freezing them in preparation for a fundraiser for hurricane relief. The idea came about when the adult leaders for KOOL asked the young participants what kind of mission project they wanted to work on.

“We asked what kind of mission project to to, and they (the kids) said they wanted to do hurricane relief,” said Jan Beutin, pastor of the Glen Hills Parish UMC. “The kids wanted to do it, and this was their idea.”

The first person to mention baking and selling cookies was 11-year-old Connor Berends, who is in sixth grade at Glenwood City Middle School. He said he felt a sense of sadness when he saw what had happened to children and families impacted by hurricanes Harvey and Irma last month.

“I was very depressed,” Berends said. “They had everything destroyed, they had stuff taken from them, and it probably cost tons of money in property damage.”

The sheer cost of cleaning up and rebuilding after such a storm struck Berends, who said the kids and families affected likely would not have much extra money for little luxuries like cookies in the weeks and months to come.

Members of KOOL and their adult supervisors hope they can raise enough money to provide comfort and maybe some necessities for families in need with their efforts.

The group has spent the last three weeks mixing up batches of dough for shortbread and seven different cookie varieties: monster, sugar, chocolate chip, peanut butter, snickerdoodle, white chocolate macadamia nut, and their take on the Girl Scouts’ Thin Mints – a chocolate sugar cookie with mint flavoring and chocolate icing on top.

The process has been somewhat hindered by a non-operational stove at the church, but if the stove is not working by the time orders are turned in and pick-up day arrives, KOOL supervisor Bonnie Walters will take the trays elsewhere to bake.

“If all else fails, I’ll take them to River Falls with me and bake them all in one room,” she said, laughing. “We may wind up with so many orders we’ll need a day to just bake cookies and ask for help from the congregation.”

The money raised will be sent to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), whose goal it is to assist vulnerable people impacted by crisis or chronic needs regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. The committee spends 100 percent of designated donations on projects specified by donors.

Right now, the kids in KOOL have not decided how to distribute the money raised by the cookie sales, but plan to discuss it after they have completed the fundraiser and tallied the results. 

Those interested in ordering cookies can reach KOOL at 715-265-7395, or email Interested cookie-lovers can also pick up order forms at the church.