You could smell the candy the moment you walked into the library and it got sweeter the closer to the door you got….what was the occasion? It was the annual Friends of the Library Christmas Cookie and Candy Sale, of course. Cookie junkies alike united last Wednesday, December 5, 2018 for the sale which was open from 3:00 until 6:00 that evening. The sale of delicious homemade baked goods, so many this year that had Decker’s run out of sugar, it wouldn’t have been a surprise, was held in the basement of the Niobrara County Library. Yearly, customers are encouraged to walk through the tables of cookies; sugar, gingerbread, hot chocolate, to fudge of varying flavors, homemade candies of the sticky variety, plus more, filling boxes with their sugary vices to then take to the register. The Friends of the Library members present stated that the majority of purchasers were there early and by the time we talked, they had estimated a rough number of ninety people they had seen since 3:00 that afternoon.
It’s a great way to make a Christmas plate for your neighbor, a Christmas party, or a treat for yourself before you sit down for that new Christmas movie. “It’s been a really good day. We had a lot of extra people donate tons more. A lot more candy than cookies. These [tables] were all packed.” Karen Titchener told me as we were talking about this years’ sale. Seventy white to-go containers were pre-decorated for the sale. The last one walked out the door while we were chatting and others from another pile had already been used. “[It was] the first year to need a table in the middle of the room because there were so many items.” Titchener went on to explain. The table she was referring to housed homemade soups and breads. The two new categories were added last year and proved enough of a hit to make a comeback this year. By the time I arrived, only a handful of items were left for the picking on that table.
Friends of the Library board presents the Christmas Cookie and Candy sale as their biggest fundraiser for the year alongside the annual Book Sale and Ice Cream Social during alumni weekend. Money raised during both fundraisers goes toward bringing in programs for Niobrara County students. Programs recently have included RIF (Reading Is Fun), puppet shows, a magic show, and more. The money raised from the sale Wednesday is not specifically earmarked for any certain program but they promise to be working on getting some good programs in.