This week, staff writer Laura Rysz talks with Mark McAndrew about the upcoming seventh annual McAndrew Family Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Bake Sale.
Professional background: Graduate of the Culinary Institute of America with a vocational education teaching certification from Temple University; employed as a culinary arts instructor at the Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County; Scranton School Board member and Scranton City councilman-elect.
Title: Bake sale chairman and national ambassador for Cookies for Kid’s Cancer
Q: What was the inspiration for this event?
A: This is our family’s seventh annual Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Holiday Bake Sale. This event started as my daughter, Markie’s, service project. It has since evolved into a yearly family project to include my brothers, Bill and Brad McAndrew, and their families as well as great support from my culinary arts students from the Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County. Each year, we also receive an overwhelming amount of support from our community.
Q: Tell us about the family that is being sponsored this year.
A: This year, we will be sponsoring a beautiful, smart, funny, sassy, energetic, 3-year-old princess from West Pittston, Vivienne Budzyn. On Christmas Eve of last year, Vivie was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She has been receiving her treatment at the Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in Danville. Fifty percent of this year’s cookie proceeds will be donated to Vivienne and her family, while the other half will be presented to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer for pediatric cancer research. In addition to that, we also will have a donation jar available if you wish to donate more to the family than the suggested amount and will continue to have a gift certificate and basket raffles at the event where 100% of the proceeds from those donations will go directly to Vivie. We are honored to sponsor such a wonderful child and family.
Q: How much money has been raised over the years, and what is your goal for this year?
A: We have raised a total of about $40,000. This is with the match from the OXO company each year. This year’s goal is $5,000.
Q: How will proceeds be used?
A: Half of the cookie proceeds raised this year will go directly to Vivie and her family. The other half of the cookie proceeds will go directly to pediatric leukemia research through Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. One-hundred percent of all other raffles will go directly to Vivie and her family.
If you go
What: Seventh annual McAndrew Family Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Bake Sale
When: Sunday, Dec. 8, from 1 to 3 p.m.
Where: The Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County, 3201 Rockwell Ave., Scranton
Details: Suggested donation is $5 for a dozen cookies. For more information and a list of prizes at the event, visit the Facebook event page.
Laura Rysz is the features copy editor and calendar editor at The Times-Tribune and runs the Talk of the Times column, which focuses on local fundraisers and other events. Additionally, Laura curates events online and copy edits print editions of the Life&Times and Weekend Times sections of the newspaper. She is a graduate of Haddonfield Memorial High School, New Jersey, and earned an English professional writing degree with a minor in mass communications from King’s College, Wilkes-Barre. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5228; @laurarysz