Yokota spouses club gearing up for annual 'Cookie Crunch'
December 11, 2003
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — A cookie in every dorm room? That’s the idea.
The Yokota Enlisted Spouses Club is gearing up for its fourth annual “Cookie Crunch,” recruiting volunteer bakers and baggers to deliver the tasty treats to the base’s more than 800 unaccompanied airmen. Each servicemember gets a dozen, meaning Yokota ovens will have to pump out almost 10,000 cookies in the next 10 days.
“They have to be homebaked cookies,” Danelle Herr, co-chair of the Cookie Crunch committee, said Tuesday. “They can’t be store-bought.
“It’s a little intimidating when you look at the numbers. That’s a lot of cookies.”
The assortment that arrives each year typically includes chocolate chip, oatmeal, sugar and snickerdoodles. Brownies also are accepted.
If all goes as planned, Herr said, the donated dozens will be brought to the West Chapel on Dec. 22 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. They’ll get bagged, picked up by Yokota’s first sergeants and delivered that evening to airmen in the barracks.
“They leave the cookies right outside their doors — an early present from Santa,” Herr said.
“It’s really great. For some airmen, this is their first base and first time away from home. Eating in the chow hall day after day gets a little old.”
Herr said the program was initiated by Master Sgt. Candace Crute, a former first sergeant and Yokota Enlisted Spouses Club member. The group backed the idea and began signing up volunteers.
It advertised on the American Forces Network, posted fliers around the base and enlisted people at booths inside the post office and Yokota Community Center, she added.
“She wanted to do something for the younger airmen,” said Herr. “We wanted to make them feel more comfortable and more at home — make them feel taken care of.”
The cookie sacks are donated by the Yokota commissary, Herr said, and base elementary school students provide the holiday touch by decorating them.
In the past, response from Yokota’s airmen has been positive.
“I know they appreciate it,” said Herr. “Everybody looks forward to it. People have been asking, ‘when’s the Cookie Crunch starting?’”
Herr said up to 60 volunteers are committed to baking right now, accounting for about 200 dozen cookies.
“A lot of people ask, ‘What can I do to help out the community?’ It’s so easy, and anybody can do it. Even if you don’t cook, you can volunteer to bag them. Just about anybody can help out,” she said.
“We’ve got 600 dozen to go. We’ll make a big push. Otherwise, I’ll be baking a lot of cookies.”
Those interested in volunteering should contact Herr at DSN 227-4774 or Kristie Drown at 227-7618.