Cookies and Crafts for a Cure to raise money

NILES — This Saturday, homemade cookies and signature crafts will raise funds for those battling cancer.

The fifth annual Cookies and Crafts for a Cure will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 1, at Hope Community Church, 2329 Lake St. Niles. There will nearly 60 vendors to choose from and a variety of cookies. Each pound of cookies will cost $7. Lunch at the café will also be available and raise money for the cause.

The majority of the event’s proceeds will support Hope Grows, a Niles-based program for cancer patients and survivors. Another portion of funds will go to the Niles-Buchanan Relay for Life.

Rebecca Byers, the chairman of the event, said people who attend will find a variety of cookies and signature wares to choose from.

“We have a lot of craftsmen,” Byers said. “We have people that do ceramics, people that do crochet, people that do leather. We have such a huge variety.”

For Byers, the fight against cancer is a personal one. She has survived two battles with cancer, including lymphoma and breast cancer.

“I know first-hand what some of these families struggle with,” Byers said. “It’s near and dear to my heart to be involved with a group that gives to the community helping cancer patients.”

For her fellow event organizers, the battle is also one that hits close to home. She knows the same is true for many in the Niles community, who have seen loved ones battle the disease.

“It’s just one of those things that touches everybody,” Byers said.

Last year’s event saw more than 700 people attend, raising about $3,000 for the cause. Byers said it feels heartwarming to see her efforts help others who have faced the same struggle.

“Knowing that every dollar that we give to Hope Grows is used in our community is just an awesome feeling,” Byers said.

Byers said it was important to keep donations local. Through Hope Grows, cancer survivors can utilize the LIVESTRONG Program to improve physical and mental strength. Other aspects of the program give cancer patients access to continued care, regardless of their ability to pay. While Relay for Life raises money for the American Cancer Society.

In addition to attending the event to show their support, Byers said people are welcome to bake and donate their own cookies. The cookies can be dropped off between 6 to 8 p.m. Friday and 7 to 10 a.m. Saturday at the church. Cookies should be labeled and placed in a disposable container.

With Christmas around the corner, Byers said shoppers will likely find something for everyone to cross off their gift list, all while supporting a local cause.

“You know that every dollar you spent is helping is some way to keep this event going,” Byers said. “It’s a great family fun day out, Santa will be there for pictures with kids and the cookies are fabulous.”

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