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Creation of Cookies Consistently Create Community

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Creation of Cookies Consistently Create Community

Posted: Dec 06 2023
Creation of Cookies Consistently Create Community

It’s almost time again for the annual Team Minot Holiday Cookie Drive on Minot Air Force Base! Each year, freshly baked cookies are collected from the base and community to distribute holiday cheer to airmen. 

The collected cookies are distributed to the nearly 1200 first term airmen between the ages of 18-20 who live in the dorms on Minot AFB. These airmen are required to live in the dorms, and it could be the first time they have been away from family for the holidays. Baking cookies is just one small way the Minot area can show its appreciation to the men and women serving our country. 

Dozens of people participate in the Cookie Drive every year, and Tammy Gillmore is one of the incredibly dedicated community members that continues to go above and beyond with entire carloads of cookies she donates. An avid baker, Tammy recounted, “Baking has always been my stress reliever and a way to show people I care. I’ve always had the people I love the most, close to me and when the holidays roll around, we are all able to gather together. Our service men and women don’t have the option of being with their family during the holidays. Getting homemade cookies from the community is not only a way for them to have a little taste of home, but a way to show them we care.”

Since 2009, Tammy has been a passionate participant in the Cookie Drive. “I actually had no idea about this program until a former co-worker asked me if I baked for our service men and women. When I told her I haven’t, she brought in the newspaper. I realized this is something easy for me to do. I’ve been baking every year since.” 

Looking back, Tammy’s favorite memory was the very first time she dropped off her donation. “I remember coming in and asking where they would like my cookies. Their response was to place it on the table in the doorway. When I said the table wouldn’t be big enough for what I brought, they followed me out to my car almost like they couldn’t believe me. The moment they saw everything their faces went from disbelief to utter shock. Now, when I come in, they usually grab the key to the donation trailer and just start loading it in there.” 

Though she bakes so many cookies, Tammy does her best to keep her recipes fresh. “To me the most enjoyable part is getting to try new cookies each year! My family all have their favorites and so getting to try my hand at something new with zero complaints is refreshing and fun!” 

When asked if Tammy had a message to others considering participating in community initiatives like this, she wanted to convey, “baking a few cookies to share with our service men and women is what the holiday season is all about. No one is asking you to make dozens and dozens of cookies, but if you can spare a few, even from multiple batches to help spread a little holiday joy, I promise you won’t regret it!” 

 Tammy Gillmore is one of the mass-bakers that rises to the challenge of baking goodies every year, and we’re incredibly appreciative of her drive, along with each and every donation received for the airmen.  

“We are so grateful for a tremendously supportive community that donates baked goods to Team Minot Airmen year after year,” said Col Daniel S. Hoadley, 5th Bomb Wing commander. “Many of our Airmen will be spending their first holiday season away from home. This time-honored tradition brings a little homemade cheer to their holiday, and it’s a tangible reminder to them that they’re surrounded by a community that cares.” 

“The people of Minot provide unrivaled support to our Airmen through traditions like the Cookie Drive,” said Col Kenneth C. McGhee, 91st Missile Wing commander. “These cookies are donated to Airmen in the dorms, but they are also shared with our Airmen defending the nation 24/7 in the missile field. It is a simple and heartfelt gesture that reminds us why we do what we do.” 

Tom Rafferty, Military Affairs Committee Chair, is also an enthusiastic supporter of the Cookie Drive. 

"Whenever you make cookies to gift to someone, a bit of love goes into the recipe. That's why I like the Minot Air Force Base cookie drive. There's so many people involved making their special cookies. They're making cookies for people they don't know, but who they value and appreciate and care about. We know it is hard to be so far from home during the holidays and this is just one way to say thank you to the men and women of Minot Air Force Base."  

For those wanting to participate, drop off days will be December 11 & 12 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at the Minot Area Chamber EDC office, 1020 20th Ave. SW. Help us reach the goal of 1200 dozen- one dozen homemade holiday goodies per person for the first term airmen! 

Send an email to keli@minotchamberedc.com or give our office a call at 701-852-6000 with any questions.
 

Tom Rafferty, Military Affairs Committee
Chair, and Carla Dolan, MACEDC Vice
President help load cookies for
transportation to Minot Air Force Base
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