Catching Up At Cookie Cafe

Jan 20th, 2018
- by Martha McCann, Michael '13


Cookie Cafe continues to provide solace and sustenance to the Regiment thanks to the generosity of the Kings Point parents from across the country. I have been remiss in providing stories this Academic Year and would like to now acknowledge those parents who have been so faithful to Cookie Cafe.

Over the many years - now going on 11 completed school years - one thing has remained constant, the smiles engendered by seeing beautiful cookies lovingly baked by mothers, grandmothers and aunts.  Many of these bakers have traveled to Kings Point to bring the cookies via planes, trains and even boats. In fact, in October we had an extended family sail from Ohio to the Academy by way of the Erie Canal and then come down to Long Island via the Hudson River, a two week trip. On board were a mid's aunts, grandmother and uncles, quite an accomplishment. It's no small wonder that we have such amazing students at the Academy.

We would also like to acknowledge the passing of Nathan Able KP '14's grandmother, who visited us several times from California. While we have had many grandmothers over the years, who we love to see, Nathan's grandmother taught  Nathan's mom Melanie to bake.  Melanie Able obviously paid close attention since, over the 4 years that Nathan attended the Academy and for several years beyond, Melanie sent us weekly dozens of confections. We would received at least two or three cartons of homemade cookies from Melanie every week for the 34 Cookie Cafes that we hold each year, all mailed from Arizona. So, through Melanie's mom, thousands of mids have enjoyed her delicious cookies and by extension, a certain measure of comfort. We have been honored to know her.

Anyone familiar with Cookie Cafe's operation understands that we receive at least 350 dozen cookies each week. Steve at GSK takes good care of our boxes and stores the cookies in the freezer we have at Babson. But, after we pick up the cookies each week and bring them to Land Hall, we then open those cookies marked for the correct sponsors' week and then store those cookies for future weeks in our freezers at Land Hall. Over the summer one of our freezer died and we definitely needed to replace it so that we can store the cookies properly. Thankfully, a NY KP parent, Manny Velez was able to get us a new standing freezer, which was a wonderful gift. Thank you Manny for your support of the Regiment and Cookie Cafe. We are putting it to very good use.

For those who bake for us each week, we wish you were present to see the awe on the faces of the students when they arrive at Cookie Cafe and see what awaits them. Many weeks the sponsoring parents (for example, PA associations like California or a company like 4th Co.) adopt a theme, given the time of year. We had wonderful "scary" cookies and pumpkin flavored cookies and breads at Halloween. The mids snacked sitting alongside several skeletons who we explained had failed sea projects and were eternally attending Kings Point (that really frightened them.) Jack Sparrow, AKA Mrs. Helis was present. Occasionally we have visitors from DC and that day the Deputy Maritime Administrator visited and met Jack Sparrow, with a lot of laughter.

Christmas Cooke Cafe saw the Regiment building gingerbread houses from the kits we provided. An inspired group of students worked together to recreate the Kings Pointer out of the kit and it was fun seeing them cutting and assembling the pieces into the ship as they glued all the parts with icing. The result was beautiful and provided the mids with a few minutes when they didn't have to think of their work load.

For those parents who haven't been able to bake, but who have donated funds for our fruit purchases, your contributions have enabled us to purchase a wide variety of fruit and berries each week, sometimes accompanied by homemade whipped cream. We are picking the best fruit we can find depending on the time of year (thank goodness for Costco and BJ's). The Regiment is sometimes eating as much fruit as cookies each week, especially the athletes. 

Your efforts to support Cookie Cafe and the effect on morale are difficult to quantify. But, as one midshipman said last Thursday, "Cookie Cafe is the best activity on campus!"

As we go forward, we as a local group are struggling to meet the manpower needed each week to operate Cookie Cafe. One fact having less workers has been the reduction in New York students entering the Academy. For years we had about 40+ NY mids coming each June, but now it's only about 10. Less mids from New York (or New Jersey) means less people able to get to us each Thursday. Therefore, if you can come any Thursday, please join us. It takes us about 3 hours to set up so that we are ready for the midshipmen around noon. You don't need to let us know you are coming and if you can come early and need to leave, that's fine too. Come near the end of the day for clean-up - that's OK too. We cannot emphasize enough how treasured your efforts are to the students. As we often hear, "Thank you for doing this for us, we love it!"

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