It’s been a holiday tradition in the Detroit Lakes community for well over a quarter-century, and while the event itself is still a few weeks away, the time is now to start placing orders for the 37th Annual Holy Rosary School Pie Sale.

Each year, more than 100 volunteers assist the Holy Rosary Catholic School’s Parent-Teacher Organization in assembling nearly 2,000 made-from-scratch pies for their most successful fundraiser of the year.

"We do not set a goal, really, but we typically sell between 1,300-1,400 pies and we would like to keep it at around that number — if not more!" says Holy Rosary PTO President Jodi Flugel.

At $9 per pie, that means the fundraiser nets roughly $11,000 annual profit, which has assisted the school's staff in purchasing many necessities over the past 36 years — necessities such as classroom supplies, carpet, and playground and technology equipment.

Though the majority of pie sale volunteers are parents of Holy Rosary students and members of the church congregation, anyone is welcome to jump in and assist with the preparations Nov. 21 and 22.

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"No experience is required," says Holy Rosary fifth-grade teacher Katie Baker, who is assisting with publicity for the pie sale this year. "Apple-peelers, dough-rollers, crimpers, mixers, baggers, boxers and others are all welcome."

"I love the atmosphere in the room where we are putting pies together," Flugel says. "There are volunteers who are old pros, they've done it for years, and then there are new volunteers who have never done it before but everyone is visiting, and happy, and you can tell they are having fun making the pies."

As an extra bonus, Baker added, volunteers "can smell for themselves the scent of hundreds of pies flying out of the ovens. To the Holy Rosary Catholic School, this is the fragrance of financial stability and success."

In addition to this massive volunteer effort, many community businesses and individuals contribute supplies and monetary assistance for the pie sale, including Papa Murphy's, Central Market, Hub 41, and John and Joy Stone, among others.

The Stone family contributes the 525 pounds of sugar needed to assemble all the pies, Flugel said, while the participating local businesses "give us all the help we need to be successful each year."

Community members can order the unbaked apple or baked pumpkin homemade pies from now until Nov. 18, by email at holyrosarypies@gmail.com or by phone at 218-850-7936. Pie pickup is at the Holy Rosary Parish Center the weekend before Thanksgiving: Thursday, Nov. 21, from 3 to 9 p.m. (apple only); Friday, Nov. 22, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; or Saturday, Nov. 23, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Those wishing to volunteer for the event can contact them via email or phone as well, said Baker.