Coon Rapids VFW Ladies Auxiliary will celebrate 60 years its bake sale Nov. 8 and 9; a craft sale was added to the event 30 years ago.
The annual bake sale started in 1953. “And for 60 years our members have continued to generously donate baked goods for what turns out to be one of our most successful fund raisers for the year,” said Mary Kaye Kath, auxiliary member.
The sale, which has always been open to the public, first started in the former VFW Post home, which was located where the old hardware store was and is now the site of Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapel.
Back in 1953 the profit from the first bake sale was a whopping $22.46, according to Kath.
By 1972, the ladies auxiliary membership had grown to the point that it decided to split roster in half and have two sales during the year, Kath said.
“In 1977, when Eleanor Lubbers was our president and Roy Anderson the VFW commander, the bake sale really took off,” she said.
In 1979 raffles for afghans made by the members were added to the agenda and profits rose to $443.20. The bake sale was now known as Coon Rapids Ladies Auxiliary bake sale and bazaar.
Lubbers’ daughter, Jayne Eutenauero’s mother-in-law was into crafts and in 1983, the bake and craft sale was born and has continued ever since, according to Kath.
“We even had clowns at our first one, starring Carmen Chiodo and Mary Schmitt, who went on to make special visits in the kids’ ward at Mercy Hospital handing out stuffed animals and bringing smiles to all present,” Kath said.
Tables were rented out at $10 a table, and it was not until many years later that the price went up to $15, which covers both days, she said.
“Over the years, there have been many different chairpersons,” Kath said. “Everyone of us who have been involved have always enjoyed and are thrilled with the participation of our members and our community.
“The proceeds from this event go into our community fund which we use throughout the year in our participation in our youth contests, our nursing home luncheons, our assistance to veterans and their families, as well as cancer aid and research.”
People interested in donating or renting a table for this year’s craft and bake sale can call Mary Kaye at 763-757-5189 or 612-532-5264.