Overwhelmed. Need Coordination Advice Please.

Decorating By clpatrick Updated 16 Sep 2010 , 11:23pm by indydebi

clpatrick Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 1:42am
post #1 of 13

I volunteered to help out at a spaghetti dinner fund raiser for four families that lost their homes to a fire. I offered to make some cookies and cupcakes for the bake sale and help out at the bake sale table. Two kids that lost their homes are in my class (I work as a teacher's aide) so I wanted to do what I could to help. So when I was asked if I wanted to come to the planning meeting tonight I went. My idea of helping and her's was completely different. There is only one women doing all the work (and she is lost at what to do). She has a lady at the local VFW where it will be held helping her with some of the coordination. I get there tonight and find out that she needs me to make all the baked goods - there are no donations. It is being held in 10 days. She is expecting 500 people. I just bake for my family and friends so I'm not sure how to coordinate the baking of everything. I have to cook everything there (there are four ovens) and they don't have any muffin pans and I only have 2. My daughter and her cheerleading team wants to help. I was thinking of having a decorating party and letting them help with the cookies. Any suggestions of what to make and timing would be greatly appreciated. I have never frozen my cupcakes and cookies so need to know can they be frozen decorated, is there anything that needs to be done to them first so they don't dry out? Sorry so long but I would appreciate any and all advice. Thanks a million.

12 replies
cutthecake Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 2:24am
post #2 of 13

Do I understand correctly...there's a fund-raising spaghetti dinner with a bake sale at the dinner?
Why are there no donations? I'm sure other people in the community feel as you do, and want to help. Why can't you get people to donate baked goods so you don't have to bake everything yourself? (And I hope you aren't expected to bear the cost of all the goodies for the entire bake sale.)
Get the cheerleaders to bake at home. A cookie decorating party may or may not be too productive. Since you work in a school that some of the kids attend, why can't you solicit baked goods from your co-workers? If 500 people are expected at the event, I'm sure you can find quite a few who would like to help out by baking.

Several years ago, a friend's 7 year old daughter had leukemia. For whatever reasons, my friend was reluctant to accept help with child care for her other kids, meals, whatever. Then her mother (the child's grandmother) told her, "People want to help. Let them." She did, and the outpouring from the community was overwhelming and heart-warming. (FYI: The little girl is now a beautiful, healthy young woman.)

Good luck.....and prayers to the families.

Ursula40 Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 7:49am
post #3 of 13

Sounds as if someone else needs to take over the organisation of the event. Talk to some of your coworkers. 2 people alone cannot provide for over 500 people, that's just nuts. There must be more people willing to help, to donate. And why must you bake over there, especially if they have no other equipment except for the ovens???? Can you borrow some muffin pans from other people? Rope in students to help, it's a great cause and they can learn something for the future as well

Caths_Cakes Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 8:43am
post #4 of 13

I agree, let the cheerleading team help out, giving back is a wonderful thing and letting them do that, will be good for them and you icon_smile.gif

babapeela Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 10:46am
post #5 of 13

I recently held a fundraising event for Ovarian Cancer Action, as my dear cousin is currently battling with it. I was expecting around 200 people, the event was a 'Cupcake Break' so I made all the cupcakes as my donation. I have a friend who does the most beautiful sugar cookies and she made lots for the event and came and helped on the stall selling them.

I had a whole team of people helping me organise, my mum, dad, husband, brother and sister-in-law. I gave them each an 'area' to look after eg, my husband was doing the music (we had a live band), my mum and sister in law were concentrating on the fundraising activities (raffle, tombola etc) and my dad was in charge of food and drink.

It would have been absolutely impossible to do it without my team of helpers, there is so much to organise and think about you are bound to miss vital things if you don't have people focussing on specific areas. In addition to my team of 'co-ordinators', they each enlisted people to help on the day or get donations of a particular item.

There were a lot of people involved and it was a really good day with lots of money raised. I cannot stress enough how much you need a team of people to organise something on that scale!

If you really are stuck doing all the baking, all I can say is freeze, freeze, freeze! And if your daughter and her cheerleading team want to help, either have them each bake a couple of batches of cookies or cakes, or give them a couple of batches you have baked and get them to take home and decorate. A decorating party just sounds like one more thing for you to organise!

I wish you the best of luck with your event, it will be worth all the work when you see everyone pulling together for a cause that matters to you.

cutthecake Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 10:57am
post #6 of 13

I really hope you can find some help for the bake sale. How about calling upon your school's PTA for assistance? Or the fire department, Boy and Girl Scouts, Chamber of Commerce, Teachers' Association, Rotary, Kiwanis, or Lions Club? People want to help--really. Why is one woman dictating this "no donations" policy?
Who is making the spaghetti dinner? How is that working?
To expedite the baking, I wouldn't make too many fancy cookies and cupcakes. They take too long to decorate. Since you need a huge quantity of baked goods, I'd stick to drop and bar cookies (brownies, Rice Krispies Treats, blondies, etc.) You pull them out of the oven and they're done. The down side is that they have to be cut up and wrapped, but maybe that's a good job for the cheerleaders.
Where are you in NY?

pattycakesnj Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 10:59am
post #7 of 13

go to your local stores and ask for donations of baked goods or the raw ingredients. The big supermarkets around here are great when it comes to stuff like that. I agree, most people want to help, just ask.

clpatrick Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 6:59pm
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by cutthecake

Do I understand correctly...there's a fund-raising spaghetti dinner with a bake sale at the dinner?
Why are there no donations? I'm sure other people in the community feel as you do, and want to help. Why can't you get people to donate baked goods so you don't have to bake everything yourself? (And I hope you aren't expected to bear the cost of all the goodies for the entire bake sale.)
Get the cheerleaders to bake at home. A cookie decorating party may or may not be too productive. Since you work in a school that some of the kids attend, why can't you solicit baked goods from your co-workers? If 500 people are expected at the event, I'm sure you can find quite a few who would like to help out by baking.

Several years ago, a friend's 7 year old daughter had leukemia. For whatever reasons, my friend was reluctant to accept help with child care for her other kids, meals, whatever. Then her mother (the child's grandmother) told her, "People want to help. Let them." She did, and the outpouring from the community was overwhelming and heart-warming. (FYI: The little girl is now a beautiful, healthy young woman.)

Good luck.....and prayers to the families.




Yes the bake sale is part of the dinner. The one women that has been doing this hasn't been able to get any donations - I think she waited too long to ask business and now they need management approval that would take too long. We are in a small town and there are no bakeries, just grocery stores.
Yes, she was also expecting me to buy all the baking supplies too. I told her I couldn't afford to buy all the supplies so I sent out a district wide email (I work at a school) asking for donations of supplies. People were stopping me in the hall saying they would help.
The county I live in won't let us sell anything that is "home made", it has to be made in a license kitchen.

leily Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 7:04pm
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by pattycakesnj

go to your local stores and ask for donations of baked goods or the raw ingredients. The big supermarkets around here are great when it comes to stuff like that. I agree, most people want to help, just ask.




Definitely do this so you don't have to provide all of the ingredients to bake with. But make sure you go with a list of what you're going to need. Even our local wal-mart will donate supplies, or a gift card to things like this. If one store won't provide everything don't be afraid to go to the next store. Just make sure you make a nice sign or put in the paperwork for the guest to see that these companies donated. (it's nice to recognize them too)

Also, i agree with one of the other posters, don't do decorated cookies. For that many people stick to your drop cookies, brownies, rice krispies (my personal favorite because they are so quick! and you can make ones with chocolate, or sprinkles, or other cereals so there is a variety)

Also, start making that cookie dough NOW!! if your doing drop cookies you can either bake them and freeze the baked cookies in ziplock bags and just upull out of the freezer when ready. Or use a cookie scoop and freeze dough balls so all you have to do is bake them (this would be a good time to send them with other people to bake so you don't have to do so much in your own oven) Or you have a baking party at the kitchen you have access too.

clpatrick Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 7:06pm
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ursula40

Sounds as if someone else needs to take over the organisation of the event. Talk to some of your coworkers. 2 people alone cannot provide for over 500 people, that's just nuts. There must be more people willing to help, to donate. And why must you bake over there, especially if they have no other equipment except for the ovens???? Can you borrow some muffin pans from other people? Rope in students to help, it's a great cause and they can learn something for the future as well




I agree! She is not organized at all and sounds like she is afraid to ask for help.
The reason I need to bake there is because it's a county law that you can not sell "home made" baked goods. Needs to be prepared in a state inspected kitchen.
I asked today for help at the school I work at and they are letting me borrow their muffin pans. I aslo sent out a district wide email asking for bake goods donation. I'm getting good results so far.

clpatrick Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 7:09pm
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by cutthecake

I really hope you can find some help for the bake sale. How about calling upon your school's PTA for assistance? Or the fire department, Boy and Girl Scouts, Chamber of Commerce, Teachers' Association, Rotary, Kiwanis, or Lions Club? People want to help--really. Why is one woman dictating this "no donations" policy?
Who is making the spaghetti dinner? How is that working?
To expedite the baking, I wouldn't make too many fancy cookies and cupcakes. They take too long to decorate. Since you need a huge quantity of baked goods, I'd stick to drop and bar cookies (brownies, Rice Krispies Treats, blondies, etc.) You pull them out of the oven and they're done. The down side is that they have to be cut up and wrapped, but maybe that's a good job for the cheerleaders.
Where are you in NY?




It's not a no donation policy just a fact that she hasn't received any. The dinner is being held at the VFW and they have members that will help cook. I'm in Owego NY (near Binghamton)

cutthecake Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 9:22pm
post #12 of 13

Can you ask to use the school cafeteria, and maybe have co-workers help out there?

indydebi Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 11:23pm
post #13 of 13

speaking as a caterer ........

you're about to embark on doing a catering AND dessert for 500 people. No freakin' way it can be done with just 2 people. And I did a spaghetti fundraiser dinner for an orgz once .... it was only for about 100 people and it took my staff of FOUR about 1.5 hrs to cook it all and serve it on time ... and that did NOT include any dessert baking time.

This is a HUGE undertaking that .... as a professional caterer ...... I wouldn't even consider doing with less than 10 staffers working with me.

whoever thinks this will work is nuts.

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