Please Help

January 26th, 2011 · 20 Comments · Uncategorized

I don’t know how to even start an entry like this. This is Liam, 6, who died on Monday. I never met him. I met his mother, the unstoppable Gretchen Holt Witt, when I worked at Real Simple. She worked at Oxo (she still does) and our paths crossed on a bunch of stories there and a few years later at Cookie. When Liam was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma in 2007, she decided to hold a gigantic bake sale to raise money for pediatric cancer research. And by gigantic I mean gigantic: 96,000 cookies, $400,000. Four hundred thousand dollars! And that was only the beginning — that bake sale turned into the astounding Cookies for Kids Cancer organization, which helps parents organize bake sales around the country so we can all do our part to help children like Prince Liam the Brave, as he came to be known. The goal is to hit 10 million dollars this year in his honor. Please, if you have a moment, take a second to donate, or, better yet, organize a bake sale in your neighborhood in Liam’s name.

Local friends: If you have any baking skills (or even if you don’t) and would like to get involved in my bake sale (April 9 at the Farmer’s Market) please get in touch. Non-local friends, if you have a go-to bake sale item that you know for a fact will sell like crazy, please enlighten.

Thank you all for listening.

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20 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lauren // Jan 26, 2011 at 10:31 am

    So tragic and so unfair.

  • 2 Tara // Jan 26, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Oh, how desperately sad. I’m so sorry. Good for you for getting involved.

    The Molasses Cookies from the original Silver Palate Cookbook are my bake sale ace in the hole. They are chewy, spicy perfection. And if you do as the recipe says and portion them out by the tablespoonful, you really get a lot out of a single recipe.

    Best of luck with your bake sale.

  • 3 Jenny // Jan 26, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Thank you Tara — I’ll check out those cookies.

  • 4 Melissa // Jan 26, 2011 at 10:55 am

    My heart just broke…will make a donation and plans to have a bake sale in the near future…

  • 5 Pam // Jan 26, 2011 at 11:03 am

    This is so sad, but I’m glad you’re using it as an opportunity to build hope for others. I just made my donation and I hope others will as well.

  • 6 KateB // Jan 26, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Such a tough thing to have to write about – and face. I’m so thankful that my son’s day care gets involved in these issues (he’s 3). Next Monday is their bake sale for “Cookies for Kids Cancer” also – and they had a Mini March to fundraise for cystic fibrosis in November. Though it’s so hard to explain death of a child TO a child, I think it’s important to let kids know that other kids do get sick and that we who are luckily blessed with health should be aware and help out in any way we can… Now I too have to dust of my cookie recipes!

  • 7 Meg // Jan 26, 2011 at 11:51 am

    How awful. We lost my youngest sister when she was just five years old…you never forget…

  • 8 bets // Jan 26, 2011 at 11:53 am

    So sad for the family, thank you for promoting their cause.

  • 9 Rebecca // Jan 26, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I knew Gretchen a million years ago when I used to cover the home market. I haven’t spoken to her in ages, but my heart hurts for her right now.

    I make a s’mores cookie bar that people adore. It’s super easy and the closest recipe I can find online is this. Sometimes I broil the top for a minute (watch closely!) to get it extra-S’moresy.

  • 10 Chris // Jan 26, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    A Mom’s biggest fear. I just made a donation. Good luck with the bake sale.

  • 11 Paige // Jan 26, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    I’m heartbroken for Liam’s family. As mother, I just can’t imagine what it must feel like to lose a child. Thank you for making me aware of the Cookies For Kids Cancer. I am moved by its mission and my wheels are turning to initiate a bake sale in my community.

    My thoughts go out to Liam and his parents.

  • 12 jenny // Jan 26, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Chris and Pam and Melissa — thank you for your donations. Do you have my bumper sticker yet? http://www.dinneralovestory.com/bumper-stickers/ I’d like to send you one free if not…

    And thank you everyone else — including those who have already emailed me directly — for your thoughts and recipes.

  • 13 Annie // Jan 26, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    I’ve been buying all my client Christmas gifts from these folks for years now. Such a worthy cause. And yummy cookies!

  • 14 Amanda // Jan 26, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    This is every parents greatest fear. I am so sorry for their loss, there are no right words other than I am so sorry.

    If we want to make a donation to *your* bake sale but live across the country, can I mail it to you directly? Or do you have PayPal?

  • 15 Jenny // Jan 26, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Amanda- you can just send me the recipe of something you’d like to contribute and I’ll assign it to a volunteer. Or even easier, just go to the website and make a donation directly. It could not be simpler. Just click on the “donate now” button on home page. Thank you so much.

  • 16 Elizabeth // Jan 26, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    This is so tragic. I wish I could be there in person to help out.

    Here are three really popular and simple recipes:

    http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/10/lookin-swell-dolly/
    http://thegirlwhoateeverything.blogspot.com/2011/01/slap-yo-momma-good-praline-cookies.html
    http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1913,149185-226201,00.html

    The brownies recipe comes from the back of a box but they are some of the best brownies I’ve ever had. I usually melt a bunch of Ghirardelli’s 60% dark chocolate chips (no double boiler, but the microwave works fine) and spread them over the brownies when they’re still in the pan — it’s a delicious pair.

  • 17 Trish O // Jan 26, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Oh, so sad. I am hugging my kids extra hard right now. Sending thoughts to Liam’s family.

  • 18 Sherri // Jan 26, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    So very sad. My thoughts are very much on little Liam and with his family during this terrible time. I have a little boy just his age. What a tragic loss.

    I will certainly spread the word about this organization. I was not familiar with it until now. Thanks for sharing this worthy cause.

  • 19 Claudia // Jan 26, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Just heartbreaking, Jenny. Thank you for posting their story and cause.

  • 20 yasmin // Jan 27, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    thanks for sharing this story. good luck with your bake sale, i do have a suggestion for an item that will sell.

    i took these patties to a great bake sale and they were the first thing to sell out. even though everything there was amazing, it was the only savoury thing and everyone needed a palate break from all that sweet stuff.

    http://lesauce.typepad.com/le_sauce/2009/12/srimaican-patties.html

    doubled, this recipe can stretch to make 50 smaller patties. you can make the filling a day before and the dough is very very forgiving.

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