Showing appreciation

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE The aroma of homebaked cookies drifted through the Jimmy Doolittle Center at Minot Air Force Base Friday morning.

It was the day for volunteers to package thousands of homebaked cookies contributed to the annual holiday season Minot Officers Spouses’ Club Airmen Cookie Drive.

Individual bags of cookies go to airmen who live in dormitories on the base.

Friday morning, volunteers were busy at tables picking out from the large variety of cookies in boxes and other containers to place in the individual bags.

Decorated gingerbread cookies, traditional holiday spritz cookies decorated with colored sugar, chocolate sprinkles and other garnishes, and vanilla and chocolate pinwheel cookies were among the wide array of sweets filling the tables. They were contributed by the base and Minot community as well as some from as far away as Bismarck.

Airmen Cookie Drive Committee co-chairs Heather Strafaccia, Mary Hundley and Jennifer Cruise, working among the other volunteers packaging the cookies, said many groups and organizations, businesses and individuals contributed to the project. The Minot Area Chamber of Commerce has been the downtown collection center for many years.

In less than two hours of packaging, Strafaccia said they already had 400 bags filled with cookies.

The 20 to 25 volunteers worked on the packaging starting at about 9 a.m. Friday. They planned to continue until 2 p.m. or however long it would take to finish.

Co-chairs of the committee said about 16,000 cookies were contributed to the project this year.

Strafaccia said they could not do the cookie drive without all the homebakers who made the cookies and the many others who contribute and help with the project.

When the cookies were finished being packaged, they would be delivered to the airmen in the next several days. If there are extra cookies, they will be distributed around the base, Strafaccia said.

“We want them to feel they are appreciated and the community cares for them,” said Strafaccia, of the distribution to the airmen.