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Annual Westminster Staff Council Pie Auction brings college community together

A woman in a red sweater serves chocolate pie at a long banquet table at the Annual Staff Council Pie Auction in Bassis Student Center as patrons gather around.
Mackenzie Harris-Bledsoe, the program coordinator for the Dumke Center for Civic Engagement, serves up some chocolate pie to a guest at the Annual Staff Council Pie Auction in Bassis Student Center Nov. 19. In addition to staffing the event, Harris-Bledsoe baked a chocolate pie for the auction.Photo courtesy of Maddie Cushing.

Only 15 minutes after the Annual Staff Council Pie Auction began in Bassis Student Center Nov. 19, over 40 people were in attendance. The reason? Attendees said they question who could ever say no to pie.

Patrons walking into Bassis were greeted by a long banquet table of pies baked by members of the Westminster College staff. Attendees could try as many different slices as they pleased in lieu of a silent auction for identical pies to the samples, the proceeds of which would benefit The Purple Basket.

Maggie Regier, manager of alumni engagement, said the combination of an opportunity to try delicious treats and contribute to a good cause was a great motivator for her to stop by the auction.

Members of the Westminster College staff serve pie from behind a long banquet table at the Annual Staff Council Pie Auction in Bassis Student Center.
Members of the staff at Westminster College take pie orders from bidders at the Annual Staff Council Pie Auction in Bassis Student Center Nov. 19. The proceeds of the auction this year will support The Purple Basket. Photo courtesy of Maddie Cushing. 

“I think it’s just always good to show up,” Regier said. “There’s a lot of recurring annual events every year that we haven’t been able to do for the past year and a half, and it’s really nice to see everybody out again.”

Hannah Thorne, director of annual giving, baked an apple cheesecake pie with a gingersnap cookie crust for the auction. Thorne said it was her second year participating in baking, but restrictions from COVID-19 last year didn’t allow for tasting the pies that everyone made.

“I think staff are just excited to support one another,” Thorne said, “They love the Purple Basket and are excited to do something in person again, because we’ve been doing a lot of virtual events for the staff council. So, this is one of our first opportunities to get back in person and see one another.”

When asked what she would say to the Westminster community about getting involved in campus occurrences, Regier said free food is common at Westminster events, and the community should take advantage of that.

“It’s fun to participate in traditions,” Regier said. “And most of our traditions involve food or alcohol, so that’s always a good bet.”

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Maddie Cushing is a senior at Westminster College studying communication and psychology. When she’s not busy cracking down on her schoolwork, Maddie can be found exploring spooky spots around the Salt Lake Valley and trying out new coffee shops with her dog, Arya.

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