Chester Elementary School student Madeline Blaufuss, 9, came up with the idea for an Alzheimer’s Bake Sale for a class assignment in second grade, after watching her grandfather battle and eventually succumb to the disease.
A year-and-a-half later, she made it happen after two months of planning. She recruited volunteer bakers from the Westwood and Chester communities, including many people who had personally known her grandfather.
Blaufuss, a fourth-grader, chose Alzheimer’s research, she said, “Because my Grandpa Bix had Alzheimer’s and passed away and I was sad and I wanted to do something about it.”
To lighten the mood a bit, the table of baked goodies, located outside Holiday Market on Oct. 22, offered Long-term Lemon Squares, Brainy Brownies, Ginger-Synapses, Memory Chip Cookies and Brain Candy. Classmate Reese Howell was there as well to assist in the sale.
Her sister, Anja Blaufuss, 7, played ukulele to help attract customers, who bought out most of the goods.
Blaufuss said many of those who visited the booth were moved to share stories about their own family members and friends who had also grappled with Alzheimer’s.
A “Memory Board” displayed next to the table of baked goods provided visitors a space to share any memory that they would most like to hold onto, as a reminder of the devastation caused by Alzheimer’s.
“The next day we donated $630 in proceeds to the Alzheimer’s Disease Research program,” said Blaufuss, administered by the Bright Focus Foundation.