‘Cookies’ shatters records, raises $80K for Meredith’s Miracles [with gallery]

Published 1:39 am Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Meredith’s Miracles broke all previous records witih its annual Cookies with Characters this past weekend, which raised more than $80,000  for the charity.

Cookies with Characters is the biggest fundraiser for Meredith’s Miracles, which assists parents with non-medical expenses when their children have to leave the area for specialty care. In the 13 years of its existence, it has assisted more than 1,000 families with more than $600,000 in support.

Executive director Kiley Spears said a little more than 3,000 people walked through the doors of the Kiwanis Community Center on Saturday Sunday, including the characters and volunteers.

To grow the event, Meredith’s Miracles added a third show on Sunday afternoon this year.

“Our volunteers have just been great,” she said Sunday afternoon. “I can’t say enough about how hard the kids work. We’ve had to cast and recast this year, and all of them adapted quickly and were willing to help.”

Spears’ theory has always been to keep the gate price low, so that it’s accessible to more people, and to add other fundraising opportunities inside to raise money for Meredith’s Miracles. Tickets are only $5, but bouncy houses, toy sales, refreshments and professional photos available inside the venue help drive the success of the venture. This year, the charity added princess carriage rides, which were hugely popular, Spears said.

Organizers also sell corporate sponsorships.

Already, organizers are looking ahead to next year.

“It’s always exciting to make it bigger and better,” Spears said.

She invites feedback or comments by email to kiley@kileyspears.com.