Friend Inc. Community Services announced a few changes to its popular Executive Bakers Contest and Benefit Auction fundraisers this year.

Instead of hosting the Executive Bakers Contest, the 2020 Community Executive Bakers returned as Cart Warriors for 2021 to purchase carts of food for Friend Inc.

In past years, Community Executives have competed in an Executive Baker Contest where each baker raised funds for their homemade dessert. At the event, desserts were tasted and finally, auctioned. In the past, some dessert creations received bids exceeding $800.

This year, because of the pandemic, all the Executive Bakers from the 2020 cancelled contest are returning to compete as Cart Warriors to raise money to purchase carts of food for delivery at the Friend, Inc. Pantry.

“The fact that all of our Community Executives have returned for another year is a testament to the important work of Friend, Inc.,” said Barbara Coffin, Auction Committee Chair in a release. “Everyone understands how vital it is that our neighbors have nutritious food and needed health supplies during this difficult time.”

Friend, Inc. is able to provide a cart of food for distribution for just $25.

The Executive Cart Warriors will compete to raise funds to purchase carts of food until bidding closes at the auction on April 24 at 5 p.m.

The 2021 Cart Warriors are Susan Bushold, owner, Dyn-A-Mite Auctions; Cathy Herman, Senior Sales Operations Analyst, East Penn Manufacturing; Craig Koller, Board Member, Kutztown Historical Society; Sue Mangold, Assistant Dean of Students, Kutztown University and Gary Mangold, Owner, Mangold Excavating, LLC; Christine Rismiller, Bag Lady’s Bakery.

The public is invited to participate in their contests at www.friendauction.org.

2021 Virtual Benefit Auction

This year’s Benefit Auction is completely virtual. The community is invited to bid online and then come during the drive-up pickup times at Beltzner Hall to pick up their items.

From April 22 at 5 p.m. to April 24 at 5 p.m., the public is invited to join in the virtual bidding at http://www.friend.cbo.io. A variety of auction items — including gifts, artwork, baskets, gift cards and admission passes, to name a few — are available to view now and more will be added as they are received.

Sponsors of the 2021 Auction include Event Sponsor East Penn Manufacturing; Executive’s Friend Sponsors Dyn-a-mite Auctions and Craig Koller; Community Friend Sponsors Margret Devlin and Mertztown Rod & Gun Club; and Caring Friend Sponsors Aramark, Carl Bales Excavating, Russell E. Conrad, Dina Hayduk, Hildenbrand Funeral Home, Joe & Ruth Lippincott, Marks Sandwich Shop, Second Nature, and Uncle Paul’s Pierogies.

Founded in 1972, Friend, Inc. Community Services is a not-for-profit, multi-service agency that supports the well-being of families and individuals in need and is committed to strengthening the lives of those living in Northeastern Berks County.

Currently Friend, Inc. provides a drive-up food pantry, Kutztown University Satellite Pantry, information and referrals, budget counseling, financial crisis intervention, and facilitates partnerships with other local service providers.

Programs serve residents of Kutztown, Kutztown University, Fleetwood, and Topton as well as Albany, Greenwich, Maidencreek, Maxatawny, Longswamp, Richmond, Rockland and Ruscombmanor townships.

For more information about Friend Inc. and its services and programs, visit https://www.friendinc.org/ or follow Friend Inc. on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FriendInc.

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