Annual cookie drive way to bring cheer to Minot AFB airmen
Tammy Gillmore’s already baking cookies for the annual Airmen Cookie Drive at Minot Air Force Base, and the Minot Commission on Aging is making plans for their cookie donation this year.
They’re among individuals, organizations and businesses in the local community and on base contributing to the annual cookie drive sponsored by the Minot Spouses’ Club at Minot AFB.
The donated cookies are boxed on base and then distributed to nearly 1,200 first-term airmen who live in base dormitories. The airmen are between ages 18-20 and are required to live in the dorm. For many of them it may be the first time they have been away from their families for the Christmas and New Year’s season.
The Minot Area Chamber of Commerce is the drop-off site for cookies donated by local individuals, businesses and organizations.
Gillmore, who started taking part in the cookie drive in 2008, made 72 dozen cookies for the event last year. There were 30-some different varieties of cookies. She makes all the cookies herself.
“The first year I didn’t make as many – 20 dozen or so,” she said. She’s been increasing the number each year. She’s not sure yet how many cookies she will bake this year but she will be participating.
She said it’s a way to give back and also something for the military members who will not be able to go home for Christmas.
“I feel like it’s a small price to pay for what they do for us,” Gillmore said.
The Minot Commission on Aging donates several boxes of cookies each year – about 155 dozen cookies.
Roger Reich, executive director of the Minot Commission on Aging, said the cookies – chocolate chip, peanut butter and oatmeal raisin – are made at MCA. The commission is located at the Parker in downtown Minot.
“I’ve been here 12 years and we’ve done this at least 10 years,” Reich said.
He said military members have been “great volunteers” at the Minot Commission on Aging. “It’s nice to give back to them and take part in this Chamber event,” Reich said.
Baking cookies is just one small way the city of Minot can show its appreciation to the men and women serving our country, according to Randy Hauck, chair of the Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee.
He said the overall goal between the base and downtown is 1,200 dozen cookies, which means one dozen homemade holiday goodies per person for the first-term airmen.
“We are asking you to bake a few dozen cookies, as homebaked cookies are really appreciated, and drop them off at the Chamber office, 1020 20th Ave. SW. The drop off time is Dec. 7 and 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cookies will be delivered to the base so they can be boxed and distributed to the first- term airmen,” Hauck said.
He said this year will be different as they work to use safe practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Please be sure to have your cookies in a re-sealable container or bag. You can drop off the cookies and place them on the table in our entryway,” Hauck said.
Anyone with questions about the project can call the Chamber at 852-6000.