PIQUA – This year’s Taste of the Arts will honor one of Piqua’s most dedicated and notable community volunteers, Cheryl Stiefel Francis, who passed away in January.
In addition to volunteering for several local organizations, Francis also worked as the executive director of the Miami County Foundation and chaired Mainstreet Piqua’s Taste of the Arts event from its inception.
This year, in lieu of the traditional cupcakes sold during the festival, organizers are working on Cookies for Cheryl, with proceeds going to a charity in Francis’ name.
“Cookies were her forte,” said Marj Stillwell, one of the many local bakers who will be providing cookies. “She would always take tins of cookies to say ‘thank you.’ She was a very dear person who put in many overtime volunteer hours, some I’m sure we don’t even know about.”
To honor this dedicated volunteer, the public is invited to purchase Cookies for Cheryl during Taste of the Arts, which is set for 5-9 p.m., Friday, May 11, in downtown Piqua.
“Cheryl always brought cookies to meetings with sponsors, city staff and committee meetings,” Mainstreet Piqua Executive Director Lorna Swisher said. “They were always delicious and sometimes even still warm. I think they were a way for Cheryl to show love and appreciation to folks who did something for her or the community. The proceeds from the Cookies for Cheryl booth will be donated to Hospice of Miami County.”
According to committee member Mary Frances Rodriguez, Cookies for Cheryl will be available in one of the Taste of the Arts food tents. “With the passing of Cheryl, the Mainstreet committee decided it would be a wonderful tribute for her,” Rodriguez said. “She was known to give cookies and she loved it.”
Several types of cookies will be available for sale, Rodriguez said, and will be sold in packages of three for smaller varieties or two for larger cookies.
The following cookie bakers are providing Cookies for Cheryl: Karen Magoteaux, chocolate chip; Reva Holtvogt, chocolate cookies; Susie Sharp, Buckeye cookies; Mary Frances Rodriguez, cherry and white chocolate chip; Marj Stilwell, orange drop cookies; and Krystal Stephenson, snickerdoodles. Several of the Taste of the Arts committee members are also providing cookies for the booth.