Under the direction of Joanne Foster (left), Gail Blaine (above, middle) and Sharon Lucas (above, right), dozens of volunteer bakers spend weeks beating together untold amounts of butter and sugar, rolling yards of dough, and anxiously peeking into ovens to make thousands of favorite holiday baked goods like krumkake, rosettes, and princess gems. Highly anticipated by Julefest attendees, the Goodies2Go selection regularly sells out by mid-afternoon each day of the fest.
Simply put, Goodies2Go is a bake sale, but Gail and Sharon—who have overseen the endeavor for several years—would say otherwise.
“It is a fundraiser,” Sharon acknowledges. But more than that, Gail and Sharon both feel food is an important way to hold strong to the traditions of the Nordic community in this area. They influence both—continued heritage and the bottom line—thanks to their careful stewardship of this program.
That success may be owed to the women’s striking differences. Gail is a musician and avid baker; Sharon has a history of working in non-profits, even serving as the Nordic Heritage Museum’s interim director in 2007. But those different skills and backgrounds have only strengthened Goodies2Go over the years. The two have found a perfect division of labor, with Sharon handling the administrative side and Gail more of the creative tasks. Together, they have streamlined the Goodies2Go process and produced an ever-growing list of committed bakers.
Gail grew up in Ballard, and even attended Webster Elementary, the former home of the Museum. She explains that a huge part of her upbringing was centered around food, which was the main tradition her family brought with them from Scandinavia. This tradition of food is something Gail wants to share with others and has found willing pupils.
“People are becoming more and more interested in learning about their culture,” says Gail, “and through baking traditional recipes it creates a tie to that culture.”
Though Sharon had never been to the Museum prior, her strong experience in non-profits led her to interview for the interim executive director position in 2007. After her tenure, Sharon stayed involved with the Museum by volunteering at special events. It wasn’t long before she was asked to take on the Goodies2Go project. Though she describes herself as a mediocre baker, she is highly organized and detail-oriented. Sharon’s organizational skills combined with Gail’s baking acumen made the duo an instant success.
Sharon says she and Gail have one big similarity: they get things done. Their follow-through and stick-to-itiveness have allowed for exponential growth in Goodies2Go. They’ve expanded the number and variety of goodies offered each year, as well as begun hosting baking classes for potential Goodies2Go bakers. Not only do the classes contribute even more treats for Julefest, Gail and Sharon hope that these classes will bring in a new generation of bakers. Thanks to these expansions, Goodies2Go now has more than 130 bakers, who come from nearly every age group.
Despite the work Gail and Sharon do to make Goodies2Go happen,
they are quick to say that equal credit should go to all the bakers. Like all
the Museum’s achievements, Goodies2Go is the result of teamwork, collaboration,
and the tireless dedication of our volunteers. Thank you to Gail, Sharon, Joanne, all our past and present Goodies2Go leaders, and the hundreds of bakers who make
this tradition a success.