Sue Ananian

My husband and Larry Witt are close friends. When we learned of Liam's diagnosis, we were heartbroken. I began closely following his battle and along the way learned so much that I did not know about pediatric cancer and the need for funding. As a mother of three young healthy children, I could not just sit by and do nothing. If this could happen to them, this could happen to us. I wanted to do what I could to help change Liam's outcome for others.

I started small with a "Gold Party" and a "Jump On In" fun-day event. From this, I wanted to do more and raise more money. Where could we have a bake sale that would have enough traffic to raise a significant amount of money? We have a huge lacrosse tournament in our town the last weekend in June every year. I approached the organizer, and asked if we could set up a table and host a bake sale. His response? "Absolutely!"

After that bake sale, we realized what an opportunity we had on our hands. People WANTED to help out, donate lots of money, and feel good about buying cookies. This bake sale is run solely with the help of local family and friends. Every year I am amazed at the quality of baked goods we receive from local supporters. It is such an amazing assortment! Our bake sale is extremely family-oriented, and it is the perfect way to involve our kids, teaching them the importance of giving back and helping others who are less fortunate. Kids paint signs, do face painting at the event, and sell cookies by pulling red wagons around to all the lacrosse tournament fields. It is a weekend-long event that is so rewarding to all involved.

What strikes me most about the event is how many people remember us from year to year and express how they look forward to seeing us at the event every year. Many ask how they can do the same in their community. I tell them all, "If I can do this, you can do this. It is so easy. People WANT to be involved. Just ask all your friends, family, and neighbors!" Each year we recruit new people who inspire me with their dedication and creativity. It is a community event that leaves you exhausted and feeling wonderful all at the same time!

This is an annual event for us now and it grows every year. Being able to donate thousands of dollars to such a worthy cause all while pulling together with friends, family, and community leaves me feeling so hopeful and grateful for all that we are able to do. I feel so honored to be selected as a Good Cookie Ambassador. I am happy to do what I do and continue to educate and bring awareness to the cause. Whether it is our big annual bake sale, a garage sale where the proceeds go to CFKC, or a pajama day in school to benefit the organization, no event is too small. Each event brings new awareness and that is such an important part of what is needed to make a difference.