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Apple Pie + Bells = Vancouver
Talk about the tastiest fundraiser ever! The Bells of the Sound of Seattle, Washington, finished their annual Apple Pie fundraiser a few weeks ago. One day of apple pie making (and a few weeks of apple pie selling beforehand) and these guys have a huge chunk of their trip to the 2016 International Handbell Symposium in Vancouver paid for.
I spoke with Jennifer about how the Bells of the Sound started the perfectly seasonal fundraiser. She was quick to credit Jason Wells with the original pie making plan. He and his choir Ring of Fire had come up with the idea and had great success. He offered to share the process with any interested choirs on Handbell-L. The Bells of the Sound jumped on the chance to make a little extra dough because they had just purchased their 5th octave of bells. The first Bells of the Sound Apple Pie fundraiser was in 2009 and they sold 528 pies! Now, 5 years later, they've paid off the original loan for their 5th octave, expanded up to 7 octaves, and have funded most of their trip to Vancouver next year.
This year the group made about 700 physical pies and sold about 200 more “virtual pies” (for the calorie conscious who still wanted to help out). The Bells of the Sound also offered the chance to purchase a pie for the Union Gospel Mission in Seattle instead of taking one home. Jennifer said that the mission gets tons of pumpkin pies around Thanksgiving, so their apple pies are a welcome change of pace.
They had over forty volunteers (ringers plus friends and family) working in an assembly line to make these pies a reality. It's an extremely organized process; they assigned everyone a station, like dough making, peelers and corers, or apple cutters. It's definitely not all work and no play though, there was music and a tasty lunch to make the time pass by. Be sure to check out their Facebook page, they have tons of fun pictures from their pie making marathon (including a picture of the GIANT truck of apples they had to bring in) Now I just have to figure out how to convince them to ship me a pie next year…