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FCCLA bakes up cookies for community

Helping with the cookies are, front from left, Maegan Anderson, Lexi Walz, Lydia Danielson, Carissa Raaen, Bailee Bartunek and Sarah Swenson; back from left, Adrian Bailey, Devin Avilez, Dulgar Buyantuyeva, Lindsey Olson, Breann Hogie and Elisabeth Peterson.1 / 3
Lydia Danielson and Maegan Anderson put finishing touches on cookies.2 / 3
Adrain Bailey and Devin Avilez made a batch of cookie dough.3 / 3

Twelve members of the Lake Park Audubon FCCLA, Family Career and Community Leaders of America, Chapter made over 350 cookies and candies for the local giving baskets.

Starting over seven years ago, Deanne Pepper from Lake Park and her family saw a need to bring Christmas cheer to local Lake Park residents that were alone during the holiday season. Over the years, the project they started has grown to not only bring cheer, but also gifts donated from local business/organizations to individuals and families that are alone or in need.

"This year the need has increased as we have 14 families and 16 senior citizens that we will be bringing gift boxes to on Christmas Eve," stated Deanne Pepper.

Pepper went on to add, "We are so grateful for the FCCLA chapter and their willingness to help with the baking portion of the gift baskets; it means so much to those people we visit."

Leading the activity and planning were two seventh grade members, Bailee Bartunk and Alexis Walz. Along with their advisor, Cheryl Hogie, they planned and selected the recipes to be made.

"It was a lot of fun and the time went really fast since we had so many helpers," stated Bailee Bartunek. In addition to the baking activity, Bartunek and Walz purchased gifts for three children from they local giving tree. They selected, purchased and wrapped the gifts so they would be ready for the Christmas distribution.

The FCCLA uses their chapter funds to sponsor the items needed for the activities such as the ingredients for the baking and the items for the giving tree.

"I feel so fortunate to have a wonderful group of students and caring assistant, Lori Bartunek, to help complete these activities for people in our community. It always amazes me how students are willing to give up their personal time on a Saturday morning to help with the various service projects we adopt each year.

"I think it speaks volumes of not only the students, but the parents they have supporting their efforts," indicated FCCLA advisor Cheryl Hogie.

For more information on the local FCCLA chapter, go to the school's Web site, and select FCCLA under the Groups/Clubs menu category.