Connecting Women in Recovery

Why Do We Call it a Bake Sale When it’s Not?

 No One’s Economic Situation Should Determine Whether They Attend The Retreat

Right now A2WG is in the middle of a fundraising effort to send at least one third of the registrants of the Women’s Recovery Retreat to the retreat center on on the beach at the retreatscholarship. We do this every year. We don’t believe that someone’s economic situation should determine whether they attend these sobriety “booster” events or not. The retreat center charges A2WG a good chunk of change per person, but if you’ve ever been to the retreat center, you’d understand why. Look at the pictures on our Retreat page and you’ll get it.

One Third of the Women Will Go On Scholarship

Sixty people will attend the retreat this year. Because the A2WG retreat has become so popular, we “sell out” earlier and earlier every year. Going to one of our retreats is like recovery on steroids.

So let’s do some math (groan). We need 20 scholarships and the cost of the retreat is $175.

20 x 175 = $3500

$vicki bake sale3500 is the minimum we need to raise to meet the goal of offering as many scholarships as possible. Last year we had more requests then we had scholarships. We had to turn a few people down. 🙁

Our biggest fundraising efforts for the retreat are the A2WG bake sales. Whoa… Why did I just call it a “bake sale” when the title of this blog says it’s not? Well, it’s a heck of a lot easier then saying:

“Make a donation to the scholarship fund and then take a baked good off the table as a thank you gift.”


This Is About a Human Experience

This isn’t about cookies, cupcakes, quiche or coffee cake. These are just bonus thank you gifts from us to you. This is about a human experience. You aren’t buying a goodie, you are donating a gift. The value of a cookie is a dollar or two but the value of giving a woman a possible life changing experience is priceless.

What If People Thought of It Differently?

If people think of our fundraiser as a “bake sale” then when they “buy” a cookie, the cost would be $1-$2, right? We would have to have 12 bake sales to get the needed scholarship money to send fundraiser thermometertwenty women on the retreat (oh my!)

What if everyone thought of it as a fundraiser and not a bake sale? What would the average donation be? $5? $10? $20? More? Let’s do a ball park figure of $5.

200 people x $5 = $1000

Now A2WG only has to have 3.5 fundraisers to raise the needed scholarship money. That’s less bakers and helpers needed to volunteer. Since you can’t do half a fundraiser (AKA bake sale) you’d have to do a whole one, and that means more scholarships to give away!


We are not telling you what to donate. That’s between you and God. In fact, you can give nothing and still take a baked good off the tablebetsy bake sale. It’s not about that. What we are asking is when you see us at the Alano Club in the summer with a table full of goodies, please don’t think of it as a “bake sale,” instead visualize the woman you will be helping to fund, and the recovery enhancing experience she will gain from the retreat.

By no means is this blog meant to be “preachy.” The bottom line is the name “bake sale” isn’t the right name for our fundraising effort.

Is there a better name which would make a more impactful statement? Your comments would be helpful.

Peace, Love & Sobriety,


L. chooses to remain anonymous, not because she’s ashamed of being in recovery, but because her ego loves recognition and she doesn’t want to feed her



PS: If you want to be an ingredient partner (donate money toward the cost of the ingredients of the coffee cakes and quiches) or just support the scholarship fund. Donations are happily accepted. 🙂

eileen bake sale


5 Responses to Why Do We Call It a “Bake Sale” When It’s Not?

  • Shame on this group for singling out the ladies who are on scholarship by making them do all the chores and virtually waiting on the others. I was apalled when a friend went via scholarship last year and came back and told me this. No one should even know who is on scholarship. For that reason I I would never attend nor contribute to this cause. Shame on you for making people who are already struggling to get by to feel even worse.

    • It has never been our intent to make it obvious who has received scholarships. We made the mistake last year of referring to those who received scholarships in an announcement. We will be much more careful about this in the future. Our sincere apologies to whomever we embarrassed through this oversight. Please feel free to contact us about any further comments or questions you may have at Thank you.
      PS: many full-paying participants also volunteer to help with the tasks. It is a collaborated effort of recovering women helping out.

  • As the author of this blog I want to bring attention to another blog I wrote about the women who volunteer their time and talents for the retreat and other A2WG events. Women in recovery inspire me.

  • I received a scholarship in 2013. In no way, shape or form did I or those who received scholarships do all the chores or virtually wait on others. Chores I did: keeping the coffee and tea area brewing and tidy – with 2 partners; going to 3 different dorms to let folks know the program would start in 5 minutes – with 2 partners; and at check-out, making sure that all towels and sheets were in the laundry bin.

    This group does a great retreat each year. There are so many women who volunteer their time and talents to make sure the retreat starts, lands and finishes. Board members volunteer for clean-up and a slew of other tasks. retreat attendees, whether full paid or on scholarship, pitched in as well. like anything, often times the same folks volunteered year after year.

    while I agree that scholarship attendees’ names should be kept confidential without exception. receiving a full scholarship and being asked to to do a few assigned chores is really nothing in the grand scheme of things.

  • Thanks “i am sober” for sharing your experience. I too have received two scholarships to the retreat and I’ve also paid. I chip in the same amount of work either way. I do vaguely remember that announcement last Year. I didn’t think much of it at the time because I’m not ashamed about receiving a scholarship. I’m rebuilding my life after a divorce. It is what it is. I can see how some people might feel embarassed though. A2WG’s intentions were not malicious though. It was an error.

    They give out evaluation forms at the end of all of the events and retreats. They are anonymous. It’s helpful when people give honest feedback, even if it’s neGative. How can A2WG improve as an organization without feedback?

    So, thank you Molly for giving A2WG the feedback that you did so they can take measures to make sure peoples payment status is anonymous.

    That retreat is so awesome, I’d hate to see anyone miss it because of an error made at one retreat (2014).

    Anyway, keep reading the blogs. I’m enjoying writing them. 🙂