Cookie festival aids anti-hunger program

DRACUT—Parishioners at St. Francis Parish raised almost $3,000 through the sale of 850 dozen homemade cookies at the “Saint Francis Great American Cookie Festival” held June 21-22. Proceeds from the bake-sale were donated to Share Our Strength, a nonprofit organization striving to end childhood hunger in the U.S.

St. Francis Parish signed up for “The Great American Bake Sale,” a program co-sponsored by Share Our Strength and Parade magazine, but put its own spin on the event, making it a cookie festival.

"We've had cookie festivals in the past and it's always a great event," said Debbie Hovanasian, chairperson for the event. "Previously our proceeds always benefited the building fund for our new church. This time we wanted to reach outside the parish to those in need."

Volunteers from the parish donated 850 dozen home-baked cookie to be sold after all six weekend Masses. Heaping containers of freshly baked cookies were set up in the parish hall, which was festively decorated in a patriotic theme.

Parishioners were invited to fill a half gallon bucket with cookies of their choice for a $5 donation. More than 400 families filled cookie buckets, raising $2,800.

"The efforts of all the volunteer bakers, festival workers and generous cookie buyers is just one more life-giving example of the care and concern our parishioners have for others, both friends and strangers alike," stated Father Michael Whyte, a recently ordained priest who served his diaconate year at St. Francis Parish. Father Whyte, now serving in Connecticut, returned to Dracut for the event.