Two local ambitious youngsters raise big money for Manna HouseFree Access

Sisters Grace (right) and Abbey (left) Beery are shown with the grandmother, Kathy Sutherland, during the recent fundraising event. Submitted photo

Sisters Grace (right) and Abbey (left) Beery are shown with the grandmother, Kathy Sutherland, during the recent fundraising event. Submitted photo

Some people may say the younger generation isn’t motivated to do certain things or that they are all glued to their phones.

Some are wrong, especially when it comes to Grace and Abbey Beery.

Grace, 10, and Abbey, 11, decided last week they wanted to do something to help those in need. They enlisted the help of their grandmother, Kathy Sutherland, who knew exactly what would work.

“My first thought was food,” said Sutherland. “They are comfortable in the kitchen. They are sweet girls.”

In more ways than one, for sure, because it was sweets which became the focus of the idea.

Sutherland said their families know how many people in the community are needing help, especially since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic nearly a year ago.

“Because we all like to bake, it was really easy to suggest to them we do a bake sale,” said Sutherland.

Once that decision was made, she said they all took a shopping trip “for the items we needed.”

That not only included the food items, but things like decorations and signs for the booth, which was located, appropriately, in front of Beery Physical Therapy at Pioneer Village on the west side of Mariposa.

Once all the supplies were secured, the work began.

“We baked and baked and baked,” said Sutherland.

The menu was quite varied, mostly featuring small, Valentine-related themes. Treats included homemade peanut butter cups, macaroons, brownies and peppermint items, to name just a few of the 13 total concoctions they created.

Then came the big day. They all loaded into a vehicle and headed over to set up their booth.

Sutherland said they began setting up and hour and 15 minutes before it was scheduled to start.

“They were buying things before we could get out of the car,” said Sutherland.

On top of that, they were paying more than the listed prices.

“The people who came were so generous,” said Sutherland. “They always left more money. I can’t say enough about the generosity of the community.”

That generosity translated to $669.45 for Manna House, the local organization which helps feed people in need in the community.

Volunteers from Manna House also pitched in during the fundraiser, as kid Sutherland’s husband, Glenn Sutherland, and their friend, Rosemary Caballero. Julie Beery, the mother of the girls, also played a pivotal role in the event.

She said they sold so many treats they had to close early because they ran out of goodies.

Sutherland said they also had a donation jar for Manna House on the table and “it was full.”

She called the entire event a “win-win” situation, saying there are so many families in need in the community they wanted to help do their part. Putting food on the tables of those people was the entire motivation for the bake sale, she said.

The following day, after she said they all “collapsed” the night after the event, they did a debriefing “about what we will do next.”

Does that mean another sale in the works?

“We won’t do it for a while,” said Sutherland. “But in several months, we might want to do it again.”

The girls, she said, are ready and willing to undertake another effort to raise money through a bake sale.

Grace is in sixth grade and Abbey is in fifth grade.

Sutherland said they are both outstanding youngsters and want to help.

“They are self starters,” said Sutherland.

She said they also tried to be “extremely careful” because of the ongoing pandemic.

“I can’t tell you how many pairs of gloves we went through,” said Sutherland. “And we had our masks on.”

They also had to deal with typical February weather in Mariposa.

“It was so sunny, we thought our chocolate was going to melt,” said Sutherland. “And then we had to put our jackets on.”

In the end, Sutherland could not be more proud of her granddaughters, saying “they were so tireless.”

She also said something many people probably agree with in these troubled times: “I love feel-good stories.”

And sweets.

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