Summerland firefighter Rick Leardo at left and deputy fire chief George Pugh, right, receive a donation of $4,730 from eight-year-old Blakely Karlson. They money, for the annual Toys and Toonies for Tots and Teens drive, was raised from the sale of cookies. Karlson baked more than 528 dozen cookies for her annual fundraiser. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Summerland firefighter Rick Leardo at left and deputy fire chief George Pugh, right, receive a donation of $4,730 from eight-year-old Blakely Karlson. They money, for the annual Toys and Toonies for Tots and Teens drive, was raised from the sale of cookies. Karlson baked more than 528 dozen cookies for her annual fundraiser. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Cookie initiative raised $4,730 for Summerland toy drive

Eight-year-old girl baked and sold more than 6,300 cookies

An eight-year-old Summerland girl baked hundreds of cookies to raise money for the annual Toys and Toonies for Tots and Teens drive.

Blakely Karlson spent many hours baking and then icing a total of 6,342 cookies which were sold for her fundraiser. The efforts raised $4,730, which was donated to the Summerland Fire Department’s toy drive on Dec. 17.

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This is the third year Karlson has baked cookies to help the toy drive, and each year, she has increased her cookie production and raised more money.

In 2019, she baked more than 2,000 sugar cookies which she sold for $5 a dozen. Her efforts raised $1,170 for the toy drive.

The following year, she baked 310 dozen cookies and donated $2,867 to the toy drive.

This year’s efforts yielded more than 528 dozen cookies. Eating this many cookies at the rate of one a day would take more than 16 years.

In addition to Karlson’s fundraising efforts, the Summerland Fire Department also received new, unwrapped gifts and cash donations from the communities and from students at the schools in Summerland. Giant’s Head Elementary School and Trout Creek Elementary School in Summerland each contributed more than $500 in cash, while Summerland Unisus School contributed more than $250 in cash. Summerland Montessori School also provided a cash donation, said George Pugh, Summerland’s deputy fire chief.

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