Forget about Bobby Flay and Paula Deen, there are plenty of cooks right here in West Deptford’s own backyard. And through a new fundraising effort, the West Deptford Junior Women’s Club is ready to showcase some local talent with a one-of-a-kind cookbook.
The West Deptford Junior Women’s Club hosts a number of fundraising efforts throughout the year to help residents in need. Last summer, members hosted a 5K to raise money, as well as hot yoga night at Laughing Buddha in December. Public relations chair Aimee Boucher says all proceeds from these efforts go into a fund that the club uses to give back to residents—such as paying a family’s PSE&G bill or helping a needy family with children’s medical costs.
“We’re constantly looking for avenues to give it back,” says Boucher. “But it all goes to benefiting our residents.”
This is the first year the club is creating a cookbook, after art department chair Sarah Slesinski proposed the idea at one of the meetings. Sleskinski believed the idea would be a fun way to get the community involved, and the members agreed.
“The club really gravitated to it because it got everyone involved,” says Boucher.
Since then, the club has reached out to dozens of members of the community. Boucher said the club initially focused on local celebrities, but found that in such as small town, everyone involved in the community is a local celebrity. Boucher is currently working with West Deptford schools Superintendent Kevin Kitchenman to get the word out to all West Deptford teachers that the club is taking submissions. Boucher, who also works at RiverWinds Community Center, is also soliciting submissions from her colleagues. She says any resident—from township official to private citizen—is welcome to submit.
So far, the club has received about a couple hundred submissions from residents, with the average submission containing about two to three recipes. With recipes still pouring in, Boucher expects the cookbook to be in the 200- to 300-page range.
“People have just been giving us stacks, so that’s wonderful,” says Boucher.
Both the price and location for purchase of the cookbook are yet to be determined, but Boucher expects copies will be available for sale at RiverWinds and the West Deptford Free Public Library. Price, however, will be determined based on the size of the cookbook, which can be better evaluated when the group has a total submission number.
Those who wish to submit recipes can do so by contacting the West Deptford Junior Women’s Club online or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Boucher asks that all recipes be submitted around March 1. She says that the goal is to have the cookbook available in the beginning of May—as the perfect gift for Mother’s Day.
She adds that the West Deptford Junior Women’s Club is always looking for new members to join and encourages anyone who has a passion for community service to come out to one of the meetings. In addition to serving the community, the club hosts fun nights, such as book club night and manicure and pedicure night for all members. Those interested are encouraged to join the club’s new member meeting on Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. in the West Deptford Free Public Library.