Cookies for Cancer – Richmond Magazine

by Gillan Ritchie

Richmond-area residents will be able to support research to help pediatric cancer patients by purchasing cookies through a multi-location bake sale on Saturday. It’s the first such effort to be held locally by Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a New Jersey-based organization founded by former Richmonder Gretchen Holt Witt.

Witt’s son, Liam, was diagnosed in 2007 at age 2 1/2 with neuroblastoma, a deadly form of cancer. Witt and her husband, Larry, soon learned that only about 30 percent of children with that kind of cancer survive and that funding for pediatric cancer research is lacking, says Cameron McPherson, spokesman for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer at the public relations and marketing firm CRT/tanaka. Witt’s co-workers and volunteers came together to help her hold a bake sale to raise money for research. They baked 96,000 cookies for that first sale, in late 2007, and raised $400,000. Now, the organization’s website encourages people all over the country to hold bake sales to support the cause. The site also allows people to order cookies, buy T-shirts and make donations for pediatric cancer research. (You can read more abut Liam’s story on his blog, titled Prince Liam the Brave.)

Wendy Martin, Jennifer Pounders and Michele Rudy, former co-workers of Witt’s at CRT/tanaka, which has an office in South Richmond, organized this year’s event. Representatives of CRT/tanaka, the Mixing Bowl Bakery, Jacqueline’s Gourmet Cookies and the Carytown Merchants Association will volunteer during the bake sale. Staffers from CRT/tanaka plan to spend 10 hours baking cookies in shifts at the Mixing Bowl’s West Broad Street location.

“We know Richmond is a great community and usually rallies for events,” says McPherson. He says bake-sale organizers hope to raise $25,000. The tally will be doubled by Glad Products, he adds.

Proceeds from the sale will help fund research for improved treatments for pediatric cancer. The bake sale will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. People can buy cookies at Carytown locations including Kroger, Dogma, Carytown Cleaners, Ten Thousand Villages and 3100 W. Cary St. There will also be a carry-out and drive-through service in the former Ben & Jerry’s parking lot in Carytown. Cookies will also be sold at the Wal-Mart in Short Pump, Sam’s Club on Midlothian and the Midlothian Kroger.

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