Community 2000 Makes a Big Difference

Cream Puff Sales Help Support Outreach Resource

Fresh cream puffs sell fast.

Fresh cream puffs sell fast.

For Juli Meulemans, Octoberfest is a combination of hard work and great rewards. Getting 150 dozen fresh cream puffs into the hands of happy customers doesn’t happen without planning, enthusiastic volunteer labor, and determination. As the Program Coordinator and Case Manager for Community 2000, Meulemans knows how important it is to get all the parts in place for the morning of Octoberfest. People across the Seymour and Shiocton school districts rely on the outreach program, based in Seymour, for daily necessities in times of need. Started in the year 2000, Community 2000 provides items that ease the stress of poverty for families. “It is a big chunk of Outagamie County,” states Meulemans. “In our building we are able to provide food, personal care items, laundry products, we are part of a diaper bank so we are able to provide that as well. And then we have a couple of different rooms here where people are able to come in and look at clothes, bedding and kitchen items, and a little bit of everything.”

Community 2000 also works within the business community to bring in resources. “Our parent organization is Valley Packaging, and that allows us to be part of the bigger collective where we can write out vouchers for The Community Clothes Closet for additional clothing if they can’t find what they need here. We work with local businesses as well for vision care, for haircuts that are free, oil changes, prescription cards. We do house satellite offices for several Outagamie County agencies, including Harbor House, and heating assistance the Aging and Disability Resource Center.”

So, to help keep this program running, Community 2000 heads to Octoberfest to sell sweet treats. “We generally do about 150 dozen of cream puffs. Our goal is to profit about $3,500. That will go into the general fund, which helps with school supplies, or food items and personal care items.”

And the puffs are a big hit. Now in their 13th year of participation in Octoberfest, Meulemans says the $2.50 cream puffs sell at a brisk pace. “People bring in their Tupperware containers and coolers and say, ‘Okay, I need my dozen!’” Using ingredients from local businesses like Manderfield’s and Morning Glory, Community 2000 produces their treats on – site. “Husbands are in one half of the tent whipping the cream, and the women are in the front half selling them. It’s a long day but it’s a lot of fun.”

Meuleman’s sounds upbeat when describing the routine they’ve developed for the festival. “It really is a lot of fun, because you have your regular customers who bring their coolers and their ice packs. We have a really good team in place for set up, and we are ready to sell by 8:30a.m. and we start hollering down the avenue to the other vendors that we have breakfast. I love people – watching! There are people who come who haven’t eaten for a couple of days – they know they’re going to get their cream puff. There are thousands of people there and you feel like you know everybody. It really is a good time. My husband and two of my kids are there from set – up to clean – up.”

So make a point of finding the Community 2000 booth at Octoberfest this year. Get your cream puff and remember that your money is on its way toward making another person’s life a bit easier. “The proceeds helps us for so many months. Without Octoberfest we wouldn’t be able to provide all that. The public is very, very supportive.”

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