STAC students to hold “Cookie Craze” event to support Baking Memories 4 Kids

Kathryn Cambrea, Editor in chief

In honor of the organization, Baking Memories 4 Kids, students from Professor Elaine Winship’s Content Development for Public Relations and Social Media Marketing classes will hold the “Cookie Craze” event on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019 from 1-3:30 p.m in the Romano Student Alumni Center within St. Thomas Aquinas College’s campus in Sparkill, NY.

(Photo courtesy of Mark Keegan): Winship and her students are pictured at one of the bake sales held at STAC to help raise money for Baking Memories 4 Kids.

Winship’s students have been hard at work promoting the organization all semester, including the “Cookie Craze” event itself. This includes extensive work in communicating about the organization and its events across social media platforms, creating content in the form of videos, visuals, and social media posts, as well as contacting media outlets such as through sending press releases. In addition, Winship’s students and members of the Communication Arts Club have held bake sales at STAC to help raise money for Baking Memories 4 Kids. On Saturday, Nov. 9, some students volunteered their time as “memory makers” at Rockland Boces in West Nyack to help package cookies to be sold. (For more information regarding the work Winship’s students have been doing, read this article on The Thoma).

Baking Memories 4 Kids is a local organization whose headquarters are in Valley Cottage, NY. Profits obtained from selling cookies pay for incredible trips that children with terminal illnesses and their families will always cherish. 

Cookie Craze Flyer
This is the flyer for the “Cookie Craze” event designed by Winship’s student, Carly Bonondona.

Baking Memories 4 Kids, a non- profit (501 (c)(3) foundation, utilizes the money generated from our cookie sales in a very special way, we make memories. From each container sold and every donation received, we are able to provide children with life threatening and /or terminal illnesses and their families an all-expense paid vacation to ALL the theme parks in Orlando, Florida,” the Baking Memories 4 Kids website reads.

Students of Winship are looking forward to their next endeavor, the “Cookie Craze” event. They strategically planned the event to be on National Cookie Day. People who come to the event will have the opportunity to engage in multiple activities. Participants can compete in a cookie eating contest, decorate cookies, play games, enter into a raffle for prizes, and even make cards for children who the organization is helping. The cookie eating contest will begin at 2 p.m. 

Mark Keegan, a student at STAC, is one of the team leaders, specializing in social media content. In addition to creating content for social media, Keegan has created a video about the organization titled, “Baking Memories 4 Kids Trailer (2019)” on YouTube. In it, he interviewed Frank Squeo, the founder and president of the organization. Squeo was diagnosed with stage 3 testicular cancer and survived. He remembers seeing children who have cancer and feels that no family should ever have to lose a child. Now cancer-free, Squeo helps multiple children and their families through Baking Memories 4 Kids.

Keegan reflected on creating the video, talking to Squeo, and learning about his life. He emphasized how Squeo made it known to him that the children he helps inspire him.

“Baking Memories 4 Kids is such an inspirational organization. It motivated me to want to go the extra mile to create content with their president, Frank Squeo, whose selflessness should inspire us all,” Keegan said.

According to a press release written by STAC student Courtney Olsen, “By focusing heavily on video and social platforms, the STAC students have grown BM4K’s Instagram following by 60% in just over a month.”

(Photo courtesy of Mark Keegan): Winship and her students strike funny poses and faces as they hold the flyer for the “Cookie Craze” event.

Isabella Szklany, another student of Winship, is also proud to be working with Baking Memories 4 Kids. She is the team leader for contacting news outlets about the organization. Among the work Szklany does is writing news releases, a job she is proud of since she is already completing tasks in the field she wishes to pursue: public relations. 

Szklany expressed how she feels about the work she is doing this semester for Baking Memories 4 Kids with a focus on the upcoming “Cookie Craze” event.

“I am so excited to be hosting this event at STAC, but even more excited to be spreading the word for this organization,” Szklany said.

Winship is incredibly proud of the work her students have been doing, and she finds that it is extremely beneficial. She detailed how the service learning project undertaken by her students not only helps promote Baking Memories 4 Kids to a younger target audience and hopefully increases press coverage for the organization, but ultimately, increases their own experiences when it comes to applying for jobs and internships.

“Students leave this class not only learning the theories and the skills, but they will have had the opportunity to apply them which will result in a resume builder,” Winship said.

In an email sent to STAC students and faculty, Winship encouraged people to make donations to Baking Memories 4 Kids. The email reads that the price for one bin of cookies is $29.99 and four bins is $99.96. It is not too late to place an order. Simply email [email protected] or make a payment to Winship via Venmo under the name, “BM4K.” Pick up your cookies at the “Cookie Craze” event.