Rivermark Raises Funds and Holiday Cheer Through ‘Dough for Doernbecher’ Program

A holiday tradition that spans nearly three decades continues this year as Rivermark Community Credit Union, in partnership with the Safeway Clackamas Bread Plant’s Cookie Bake, is working to raise money for Doernbecher Children’s Hospital through the Dough for Doernbecher program.

On the first Saturday of every December, the Safeway Bread Plant—which, as the name suggests, usually makes bread—mixes 30,000 pounds of cookie dough using all donated ingredients. The next day, the plant hosts its Cookie Bake, during which members of the community purchase dough and, as Rivermark Chief Financial Officer Chris Caldwell said good-naturedly, “use cookie cutters and all the rest to decorate and bake and make a mess there and leave it and not clean it up.”

The event has grown steadily and has become a collaborative community-wide celebration, as Safeway employees handle the baking in the plant’s commercial ovens while Rivermark employees run the decorating stations. And in addition to the one-day Cookie Bake, which also includes photos with Santa and cookie decorating contests, Rivermark sells extra dough—usually in the neighborhood of 10,000 pounds—as a way to raise additional funds. Orders can be placed online until Dec. 1.

Caldwell explained that the entire project is truly a labor-intensive effort for Rivermark’s employees, who voluntarily spend the Saturday before the Cookie Bake bagging 30,000 pounds of cookie dough into five-pound bags.

“It’s certainly a great cause, and it’s a great community,” Caldwell said. “It comes out of the reserves of time and effort really more than dollars.”

After Sunday’s event, the Rivermark employees return to the plant to pack up all the leftover dough and distribute it to various Rivermark branches—often using refrigerated trucks to transport the dough as far as Salem and the Dalles—where much of it is already spoken for as a result of pre-sale orders.

Rivermark’s partnership with the Safeway Clackamas Bread Plant began in the ‘80s with Bob Jacobson, who was the Safeway plant manager and a member of the Rivermark board of directors, and this year will mark the credit union’s 28th Dough for Doernbecher fundraiser.

Rivermark Mortgage Loan Officer Mollie Coe was part of the initial reason for tabbing Doernbecher as the beneficiary of Rivermark’s philanthropic efforts. Her son was born prematurely and spent 13 weeks at the children’s hospital.

“We discovered that a lot of Doernbecher research is funded by donations from the public,” Coe said. “The credit union I worked for in 1986 held a fundraiser, and that is basically how Credit Unions for Kids started. Bake sales and starting small makes a difference.”

Caldwell expects the 2011 installment of Dough for Doernbecher to raise approximately $50,000. Since 1983, Rivermark has raised over $440,000 for Doernbecher Children’s Hospital through its many fundraising efforts.

“It’s pretty cool,” Caldwell said. “All of the ingredients are donated, and it’s a great cause.”


Questions or Concerns? Contact Matt Halvorson, Anthem Editor: mhalvorson@nwcua.org.

Posted in Federal.