Copake Grange readies 1,000 Cupcake Celebration

Cupcakes will be the order of the day with 1,000 of the goodies at The Fourth Annual Cupcake Celebation at the Copake Grange on Sunday, June 23 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Christine Bates

Copake Grange readies 1,000 Cupcake Celebration

COPAKE — Copake Grange members throughout the hamlet are baking up a storm as they prepare for what Grange secretary Rita Jakubowski says is “the most fun activity of the year,” The Fourth Annual Cupcake Celebration to be held at the Grange from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 23.

Jakubowski says a record setting 1,000 cupcakes are expected for the fundraising event with everyone earning a prize as bakers — both amateur and professional — vie to win the title “Ultimate Copake Cupcake.”

The event is just one of a number held throughout the year as members work to provide the dollars required to make needed repairs on the historic 1903 building whose poor condition, she believes, was in part responsible for a collapse in membership some half dozen years ago.

With only seven members, the group failed to reach a quorum for meetings. That, in turn nearly led to the loss of the charter which would have caused the building to be ceded to the Grange parent organization which actually owns the building.

Determined to keep the structure, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Jakubowski reported, “That group got together and they started recruiting new people and built it up to 20 to 25 members.”

She said people joined because they “began to realize it’s a badly needed community organization that also happens to have building with a stage. It’s a place where people could gather socially and for entertainment and education and general community gathering.”

Despite a slow down when the Grange was closed in response to COVID, the non-partisan, non-political organization continued to grow and now boasts nearly 150 members.

The calendar of events, most of which are free and open to the public, features dances, plays, open mic nights and more including Copake Bicentential talks spotlighting “The Copake Pharmacy,” “Life on a Copake Farm,” and “Copake Falls and Copake Lake:A Retrospective.”

In addition to time honored favorites, the organization actively works to be responsive to the community’s needs and desires, even posting online a form for suggestions for future events.

The most recent example of innovation took place on Sunday, June 8, when a small group joined together for the first ever family meetup.

The gathering was brought about as many activities typically are by what Grange secretary Jakubowski labeled as an “organic” effort. As a member of the membership committee, she had a traditional welcome coffee with a young mother and professional woman who worked from home.

Jakubowski said the new Grange member mentioned that the town did seem to lack a place for children to gather and play and hoped the group might add some programming for the youngest residents.

Jakubowski encouraged her to submit a proposal for a new program with the result being the happy sounds of a few children and their parents gathered for no reason other than to have good time.

She said, “The family meetup is currently a one- time event. Future meetups will depend on local interest and whether enough people participate and continue to organize regular events.”

Noting a modest membership fee of $28 per person per year, Jakubowski emphasized,

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