By Margie Wuebker
MINSTER -- The Buschur Bright Lites Relay for Life Team has cooked up a tasty fundraising project and it is selling like hotcakes.
"Food for Life Cooking for a Cure" debuted in late September and committee members already are ordering more cookbooks to meet the demand.
The team, sponsored by Buschur Electric of Minster, initially sponsored a Food for Life cooking class in March to raise money toward its Southwestern Auglaize County Relay for Life goal. The money supports American Cancer Society efforts aimed at finding a cure for cancer.
"We raised $1,400 this year," says team member and cookbook committee chairman Michelle Heckman. "We decided to stay with a food theme and a cookbook seemed ideal."
Team member and cancer survivor Jane Poeppelman suggested the cookbook project. Having seen several put out by her oncologist's staff in Troy, she felt area residents would be just as receptive and eager to help. The committee, which also includes Mag Dues, Liz Mescher, Marlene Hoying and Amy Winner, set 200 as a target number of recipes. They received 390 ranging from A Different Tuna Casserole to Zucchini Cake with Sour Cream Frosting. Surprisingly, there were few duplicates.
"These are tried-and-true recipes with common ingredients," Poeppelman says. "They're bound to be good because the name of the contributor appears with each one."
Many recipes were submitted in honor of loved ones or in memory of deceased friends and family. Some come with a brief history about the recipe or its creator. Buschur Electric and neighboring SecurCom employees also came through with tasty treats.
"When asked 'Why we relay' one just needs to read the stories included in this cookbook," Heckman says. "There are so many reasons to join Relay for Life but the main reason is finding a cure for cancer as quickly as possible. We are working together to save lives."
The committee, which expects the sale of cookbooks to help reach the 2007 goal of $3,200, worked with Friends and Family Cookbook Publishers of St. Paris on a myriad of details ranging from an attractive cover to special features like ingredient substitutions, the use of herbs and recipes for household cleaners.
Stacks of recipes were separated into eight categories -- Appetizers, Snacks and Beverages; Soups and Salads; Breads and Rolls; Vegetables and Side Dishes; Casseroles and Main Dishes; Desserts; Cookies, Bars and Confections; and Miscellaneous.
"Casseroles and Main Dishes drew the most entries," Dues says. "However, desserts ran a very close second. There is a lot of comfort food as well as recipes handed down from one generation to another."
Team members have switched to the delivery mode. Poeppelman is not shy about twisting the arms of friends, relatives, golfers and even fellow retired teachers. The others have proven to be good salesmen as well for the $15 cookbooks.
Copies are available at businesses in the area.