While I was growing up my Dad was very active in our church's Men's Club. Once a month we would spend a Saturday shopping and then get up early on Sunday morning to prepare breakfast for the monthly meeting. When I was young my responsibility was something simple like toast or setting the table and it gradually progressed to cooking eggs to order (suspiciously similar to my job at the time). But this isn't about those breakfasts. It's Christmas and this Men's Club had a Christmas themed fundraiser every year - fruitcakes. Yep, fruitcakes.
Over a thousand of them. There would be several ovens going at once, including a convection over that could knock a kid down when opened. They would make two batches a night for four nights a week for four or five weeks. This was my first commercial baking experience. Again, my involvement grew as I did. I started as a decorator, making a flower pattern using almonds and a cherry and it was just the early batch, it was a school night after all. When I was older I was able to make the batter and pull the cakes from the pans to cool - both batches.
Yes, I know it is shocking. Fruitcakes as a fundraiser. A successful fundraiser at that. My Dad sells them with little effort as do the other members. They had to be kept in a locked closet to prevent theft. Yes, fruitcake theft. Two words you never thought you would see side-by-side, fruitcake theft. There were people we only saw once a year and that was when they were picking up their fruitcakes. This helped my youth group go on work trips every year. This fundraiser paid for meals at the Room At The Inn, a local shelter. And they are still doing it. Cakes are for sale. If you are near De Pere, WI, contact a member of the First United Presbyterian Church Men's Club about them.