A collection of recipes from dozens of Columbia County government employees and their families will help the Christmas wishes of 41 area children come true.
When the Columbia County Employees for Excellence Committee began planning for its annual Christmas fundraiser, members wanted to raise money in a new way. Vice chairwoman Hope Marshall, an employee in the Roads and Bridges department, came up with the idea to create a cookbook.
After months of planning and soliciting recipes, the committee created A Taste of Columbia County, a hardcover cookbook featuring nearly 350 recipes submitted by county employees and their families. The recipes range from hearty soups and easy-to-make casseroles, to cakes, pies and creative side dishes.
"I'm a sucker for cookbooks," Marshall said. She listed country-style and fundraiser cookbooks as her favorites because they often contain family recipes that are simple to make and delicious to eat.
The Employees for Excellence Committee was started more than a decade ago to coordinate community fundraisers and recognize outstanding employees and departments. Each year, the committee teams up with the Columbia County Foundation for Children to help underprivileged families have a better Christmas.
Typically, the committee relies on gifts and monetary donations to help the needy children, said committee chairwoman Angela Stiger, who works in the county tax assessor's office. She said the committee will likely look to cookbooks to raise money for the Christmas gift drive in years to come.
This year, in addition to the cookbook, the committee held bake sales each month.
On Nov. 30, members of the committee will scour the aisles at the Evans Wal-Mart to fulfill the list of necessities and wishes the families requested, Stiger said. On Dec. 7, the families will pick up their wrapped presents.
The committee printed about 600 cookbooks, and while sales have been strong, many copies are available for $10 by calling Marshall at (706) 447-7603 or Stiger at (706) 312-7463.
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