Portage Valley ‘Cookie Ladies’ baking cookies for a cause


PEMBERVILLE – You have to get up pretty early in the morning to beat the cookie ladies of Otterbein
Portage Valley Retirement Village.
Every Friday morning, members, employees and guests are greeted with the aroma of chocolate chip, sugar,
oatmeal raisin and macadamia nut cookies fresh from the oven. The Cookie Ladies, Ruth Manges and Betty
Bauer, bake 12-15 dozen cookies each week and people across the globe benefit. That’s because money
raised from the cookie sales supports Heifer International.
According to the website www.heifer.org: Heifer International is a nonprofit organization that alleviates
hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation through gifts of food and income producing farm animals
and training.
These animals provide a source of protein, such as eggs and milk, for children and generate income for
families through the sale of animal products.
Since 1944 Heifer has helped over 4 million families in 125 countries become self-reliant. Each family
"passes on the gift" by giving one or more of its animal’s offspring to another family in
One relief worker, Dan West, began it all. While serving during the Spanish Civil War, he saw first hand
that "children don’t need a cup, they need a cow."
So, West formed Heifers for Relief, dedicated to ending hunger by providing families with livestock and
training. In 1944, 17 heifers left York, Pennsylvania for Puerto Rico.
Manges and Bauer, both curent villa residents at OPV, double as active volunteers in several capacities,
according to staff member Jessica Derkis.
"Ruth has been baking for two years and Betty for a year and half."
At first, Manges and Bauer baked the cookies from their own villa kitchens. But now "we allow them
to take over the activities department every Friday morning," Derkis explained.
"We have fun, and people love the cookies," said Manges.
And thanks to regular customers, the Cookie Ladies raised more than $1,200 for Heifer International in
2008 and 2009 looks to be even better.
Anyone feeling a need to feed their cookie fix and send a cow to someone in need at the same time, is
invited to call (419) 833-8917. Same-day orders are fine, if made by 10 a.m.
Otterbein Portage Valley is located on Pemberville Road, between Stony Ridge and Pemberville.

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