(Matt Rocheleau for Boston.com)
There was a unanimous Election Day winner at the polls inside the Curley K-8 School in Jamaica Plain: the bake sale.
“We don’t do bake sales very often,” said Sara Mallach, a parent council member who has two boys enrolled at the school.
The last time the parent council held a bake sale was during four years ago, on Election Day, she said.
While bake sales held at other times have rarely been worth the effort, the ones the council has held during presidential elections “have been really successful,” Mallach said. “It’s very much a school community effort.”
They collected about $2,000 during the last presidential election.
“That’s a huge amount of money for the school,” said Jill, one of the parent volunteers.
The fundraisers are run from when the polls open at 7 a.m. until when they close at 8 p.m. by volunteers working the tables of homemade food donated by parents, teachers and others. A spread Tuesday afternoon included bake sale staples like coffee, tea, cider cupcakes, muffins, and other patriotically-decorated desserts, along with some more unique dishes like beef empanadas, soup and rice pudding.
More food was on the way to feed the pending swarm of hungry evening voters.
And, “the menu is more savory later in the night,” Mallach said.
Through mid-afternoon, the fundraiser had drawn slightly more than money the prior one and the crew of cashiers were armed with a larger stock of food than at past sales.
“We’ve learned a lot in four years,” said Rachel, another parent volunteer. “This is a bigger operation.”
In Allston, Rosie Hanlon manned a bake sale and raffle in the lobby of the Jackson Mann K-8 School just outside the polling station in an adjacent room. The fund-raising effort benefitted the Jackson Mann Community Center, for which Hanlon is an administrative coordinator.
As voters filed into and out of voting booths, at times after waiting outside for more than an hour in lines that wrapped around the block, they would stop by tables she helped run.
“The presidential election is the bomb diggity of bake sales,” Hanlon said.
As voters dropped for snacks and to try their chance in the raffles, Hanlon put their cash into a stuffed tin lunch box with an American flag on the front. She said the goal was to make “into the thousands.”
For sale were hot dogs, pizza, various types of breads, muffins, brownies and raffled gift baskets. That morning the volunteers there sold breakfast treats and hot coffee. Much of the supplies were donated by local businesses and community center staff made the food.
Along with helping to collect extra dollars for nonprofit groups and causes, such bake sales are an opportunity for the volunteers to tell people about the organization hosting the fundraiser and try to recruit them to volunteer there themselves, Hanlon said.
She said she met a young woman, spoke to her for several moments and the woman is now interested in joining the community center’s board.
“The purpose of this is so much more than fundraising,” she said. “It’s a beautiful statement for our community. To get involved is so important.”
E-mail Matt Rocheleau at email@example.com.
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