Walk marks sweet silver anniversary

Even a woman as sweet as a sugar cookie can draw the line sometimes — especially when help for the less fortunate teeters on the line.

So forgive the normally affable Sarah Hancock if she had little time for those who didn’t understand her passion for a missions fundraiser known as the First United Methodist Church Cookie Walk.

A case in point: One man who walked in to the event years ago quipped, “You give (free) samples, don’t you?” he asked. “That’s what one fella told me.”

“Well,” said Hancock sternly, “he was lying.”

The woman walked much taller than her 4-foot-10 stature and didn’t crumble before those trying to sweet-talk her into the wrong kind of charity.

The 25th anniversary of the event featuring as many as 8,000 cookies unfolds from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 21 at the church, 618 Eighth St. in Columbus. But people need not wait for the gathering that the late Hancock launched as a fun way to highlight outreach. They can preorder treats by calling the church office.

Today, the fundraiser, which normally generates about $2,400, supports such causes such as the local Love Chapel food pantry and the Red Bird Mission for the poor in the Kentucky mountains.

Edinburgh resident Marilnn Rondot, Hancock’s daughter, will attend the Cookie Walk. She and others on hand will find an oversized portrait of Hancock near tables overflowing with enough treats for nearly any Cookie Monster.

“I think she would be very thrilled that this is still going on years later,” Rondot said.

Hancock died in 2008 at age 94, a year after attending her final fundraiser.

Maryjane Perry of Columbus works behind the scenes to publicize the event. Husband Herb Perry always makes his trademark peanut brittle, selling 8-ounce servings for $4. The Perrys make sure they enjoy the fruit of others’ labor.

“We kind of wait until the end of the event (to buy),” Maryjane Perry said.

The walk always eventually sells out — if not by Saturday afternoon, at least by fellowship time Sunday morning as unsold items are laid out again.

Through the years, the fundraiser has sold more than 100,000 cookies — all while throwing calories to the wind.

A cookie craze

What: 25th anniversary of the First United Methodist Church Cookie Walk fundraiser for a range of local, regional and national missions outreaches.

When: 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 21

Where: The church at 618 Eighth St. in Columbus.

Treats: Cookies, brownies, fudge, peanut brittle and more. Also, jars of cookie mix also can be purchased by those who want to bake their cookies fresh at home.

Preorders: Those who cannot attend can preorder cookies by calling 812-372-2851.

Information: fumccolumbus.org.

Author photo
Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at bblair@therepublic.com or 812-379-5672.