Be a good cookie

What started as a school project has become a passion for Myers Park High junior Abbey Rogers.

This year’s Good Cookie 5K and Bake Sale will be held Saturday, March 23, in the Cotswold area of Randolph Park. The event raises money to fight pediatric cancer.

The teen was inspired by family friend Grier Christenbury, who has battled cancer since age 2, and the local chapter of nonprofit Cookies For Kids’ Cancer, an organization dedicated to raising funds for pediatric cancer research, to do something.

The local Cookies chapter, spearheaded by women from south Charlotte including Grier’s mom, Amy, is known for its giant bake sales throughout the area that have raised thousands of dollars for the cause.

Abbey’s seen the success of the bake sales, the largest which is held at Blackhawk Hardware in the Park Road shopping center every December. That’s why she wanted to give back in her own way, creating the Good Cookie 5K and Bake Sale last year.

“The Christenburys have been family friends of ours for a while now – we know them from school and church,” Abbey said.  “I initially started this as a project for school, but it was also multi-purpose because I wanted to do something that would help the cause.”

And with so much success last year, Abbey is at it again. With help from family and friends, she’s hosting the second annual Good Cookie 5K and Bake Sale this Saturday, March 23, in the Cotswold neighborhood of Randolph Park, located near the intersection of Sharon Amity and Randolph roads. Last year’s event raised about $14,000 for the cause, with around 350 runners in the 5K and the one-mile fun run.

“This year, we just really wanted to see it grow,” Abbey said. “We are expecting around 500 runners, but I have no idea how much we could raise. I really can’t say I have a goal, but that I personally would like to raise more money than we did last year.”

This year, Abbey said growth for the event has been encouraged by a lot of word-of-mouth advertising, along with passing out flyers. She said the cause has turned into a city-wide event, with a much broader pool of participants than she could have ever imagined.

“Cookies For Kids’ Cancer is just such a great organization to be involved in. I really didn’t expect (the event) to grow to the size it did, but as I went through the process, so many people wanted to be involved,” Abbey said.

Abbey says she couldn’t pull off the event off without the help of her family and friends, like her mom Janine, her number one volunteer, she said, who has been on board with Abbey from day one as a top supporter and a true “go-getter.” Abbey also said her friends Caroline Carmichael, who is coordinating the bake sale portion with her mom Kelley, and Joy Hart, who is managing the volunteers, both have been great supporters.

“It is my project essentially, but it is definitely not a solo effort whatsoever,” Abbey said. “I have had so much help throughout the process both last year and this year.”

This year’s event will run Saturday, March 23, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with race day registration starting at 8:30 a.m. The 5K costs $30 to register and $15 for the one-mile fun run. The bake sale will feature sweet treats from local residents and businesses such as Gigi’s Cupcakes and Polka Dot Bake Shop.

Learn more about the Good Cookie 5K and Bake Sale at www.cookiesforkidscancer.racesonline.com.

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