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Rescue Mission benefits from Hartford event

Rescue Mission benefits from Hartford event

HARTFORD — The Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley is about $200,000 away from its goal to build a new facility, and its fundraising got a sweet boost on Saturday as Hartford Orchards hosted an apple pie baking contest.

Lynn Wyant, chief development officer at the Rescue Mission, said Hartford Orchards came to them and suggested doing a fundraiser.

“Jess from Hartford Orchards said she wanted to get involved with the mission. She liked what the mission was about. She came and met with us over the summer, so we brainstormed and said it might be fun to do an apple pie baking contest,” Wyant said. “It just helps the everyday operations of the rescue mission so we can take care of the average 100 people who stay there a night.”

She said 18 bakers submitted pies and there were different levels of sponsorship — red apple sponsors donated $5 for every pie entered, green apple sponsors pledged $10 for every pie entered and golden apple sponsors pledged $25 per pie entered.

“We’re going to slice the pies up and have one slice judged, and the remaining slices are going to go back to the mission and be served for the meal tonight for all the clients staying at the shelter,” Wyant said, noting all the participants would get an honorable mention.

“We got first, second and third ribbons in four categories. We got kids, youth, amateur and professional categories for anyone who is a professional baker,” Wyant said.

There were five categories the judges considered for each pie.

“Before slicing, they’re going to be judged on overall appearance and creativity. Then we’re going to be slicing the pies, and they will be judged on the crust, the flavor and the filling,” Wyant said.

Wyant said the first-place winner for each category would receive a $20 gift card to Hartford Orchards.

Zechariah Ellis baked an apple pie for the “Bakers to the Rescue” fundraiser.

“It probably took about an hour to bake, and the first time our crust didn’t turn out well, so we had to make a couple of new recipes,” Ellis said.

Ellis said he wanted to participate in the competition because he likes to bake, and said his pie stood out because of the apples.

“I liked the apples before they were cooked. I tasted one, and I would probably say the apples were the key,” Ellis said.

His pie ended up winning first place in his age category.

Wyant said it feels “fantastic” to be closer to raising enough money to build the new rescue mission.

“I’ve been at the mission for 13 years, and we’ve been in this project the whole time I’ve been here, so it feels great. We’re about $214,000 away from the $5.5 million goal at this point,” Wyant said.

Wyant said the new mission will be built about less than an eighth of a mile away from the current location on Martin Luther King Boulevard and will be a little further south off U.S. Route 422.

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