Catholic Women hold bake sale

Mary Beth Bruss, St. Thomas Council of Catholic Women incoming president, gets food ready for the bake sale.

St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Lenoir City offered sweet treats to the community over the weekend.

The St. Thomas Council of Catholic Women brought back the annual bake sale after a year off.

“This is our largest fundraiser effort that we have, and in fact this year it’s been our only fundraiser that we’ve had,” Karen Vacaliuc, bake sale co-chairwoman, said. “This year it’s been our only fundraising because of COVID. ... Because of that we haven’t had any other really ways to raise money but this is our way this year.

“... We entertain disbursement requests, so if there’s a charitable organization within our area they can ask us for funds and we give it if we vote on it and then give it,” she added. “For instance, we have given to many different organizations in the past.”

Vacaliuc said contributions have gone to Project Life Saver, St. Mary’s Legacy Mobile Clinic, TN Right to Life and Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding.

Bake sale co-chairwoman Linda Foster said the church chipped in last year to ensure charitable causes were helped.

“Last year we had no fundraisers,” Jan Scobey, women’s council president, said. “Our mantra was like the Temptations’ song, ‘Ain’t Too Proud to Beg.’ We had over $4,000.”

Women from the council dropped off a variety of baked goods Friday, including cookies, candy, cakes, pies, breads and cupcakes. Women were asked to bring food covered.

Vacaliuc said one woman even brought dog biscuits for the two-day sale, which in years past has included a craft show. She hopes to see that part of the fundraiser return in 2022.

“Somebody did actually bring I think cookies and homemade place mats, so one person did make a craft even though we didn’t have a show,” she said.

Scobey said she hoped the sale would bring in $1,000-$1,500. Vacaliuc couldn’t determine an exact amount Monday, but she estimated the sale raised more than $3,000.

“What we have done, we have asked the women to contribute three ways,” Scobey said. “We’ve asked obviously for baked goods, which you see are coming in, we have asked that they come and shop, and if they don’t want to bake and they don’t want to shop then we would like a monetary donation. We have been very blessed with what we have received so far.”

The group will now meet to determine where funds go.

“For instance, one of the organizations that we are going to support within our geographical area is called Sleep in Heavenly Peace, which helps make beds for families mostly with children that don’t have beds,” Vacaliuc said. “They may have a mattress but they don’t have a bed. It surprised us all how many people that they served every year in this area.”