Queenstown 'cookie chaos' event invites homemakers to decorate and donate

by Lauren Pattemore - Mar 19, 2024

Two charitable organisations have teamed up to gift cookies to Queenstown locals doing it tough and are offering keen bakers the chance to up their decorating skills at the same time.

It's a collaboration between Good Bitches Baking and Baskets of Blessing, who are both hosting a "Cookie Chaos" event this Thursday at St John's Presbyterian Hall in Arrowtown.

Experienced decorator Leo Kurtis is coming in to show attendees how to ice like a pro before they put their own designs onto cookies. 

The community cookie decorating session builds on the success of a similar 2022 event, where hundreds of cupcakes were created.

Hundreds of cupcakes went out to those in the community in need of a yummy spirit lift.

All decorated cookies will be donated to Basket of Blessings, which will then pass them on to local people going through a tough time.

Baskets of Blessings provides gift baskets to people nominated by other members of the community as needing some support.

Head of Good Bitches Baking Queenstown and Central Otago Viv Madsen-Ries says it'll be a fun event to get everyone together, and there are even a few prizes on offer. 

"It's a bit of a competition this year. We are encouraging everyone to select the cookie they're most proud of for judging."

Head of Queenstown Good Bitches Baking Viv Madsen-Ries says there's been a big jump in the number of people putting their hands up to bake locally.

Ms Madsen-Ries says through this fundraiser event the two organising groups are also hoping to improve awareness of their charitable work in the community.

However, she's been "quite blown away" by the number of recent sign-ups.

She explains Good Bitches Baking is made up of 85 volunteer bakers across the Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago districts. Volunteers give their time and resources to bake sweet treats at home and then deliver them to local charities and organisations.

There are more than ten baking recipients, including Central Lakes Family Services, Happiness House, Wanaka Food Bank and Lakes District Hospital.

Some Easter cookies made by decorator Leo Kurtis, who will be hosting the 'Cookie Chaos' event.

Ms Madsen-Ries says the number of volunteer bakers at Good Bitches Baking has almost tripled over the last year since she's been in charge, with the majority of signups happening over the Christmas and New Year period. 

"It was probably a mixture of things...people do like to start the new year off with a New Year's resolution, or at least something different. And, I think there's a greater awareness that there's of people out there struggling.

"Also, people do like baking but don't often want to eat everything they've made. It's the perfect solution for people to indulge in their hobby." 

She says that with all the new signups, the group is now looking for new recipient charities, particularly in the Wānaka and Cromwell areas.

And, despite the jump in bakers, she says she's always eager for more people to join.

Ms Madsen-Ries says they're looking for more people to come along to this week's mass icing, to get as many cookies out to the community as possible. 

The event will be held from 6.30pm to 8.30pm at St John's Presbyterian Hall in Arrowtown on Thursday, March 21. 

Tickets are available for $25 and are available for purchase on TryBooking.

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