Yesterday afternoon New York-area bloggers and new media friends got together for the Annual Holiday Cookie Swap, a charity fundraiser, hosted by Bloggers without Borders and friends at the amazing Hill Country Barbecue. It’s always fun to get together with friends who have a common love of food, but it’s even more fun when you’re doing it for a cause. This year we were raising money for Cookies for Kids Cancer, a non-profit which raises funds to support research for new and improved therapies for pediatric cancer through community bake sales and cookie swaps. Cookies for Kids Cancer was founded by Gretchen Holt Witt and her husband Larry Witt after their son Liam lost his battle with an incurable pediatric cancer. Inspired by their son, Gretchen and Larry hosted a bake sale where volunteers, friends and family baked 96,000 cookies and raised an astounding $400,000 for pediatric cancer research in a day. That was the beginning of something much larger – Cookies for Kids Cancer – which has raised 4 million dollars to date! The blogging community was proud to come together to share cookies, ‘cue and some holiday cheer while raising money for this very worthy cause.

No surprise that Gail Dosik’s cookies stole the show! There was no shortage of ooh-ing and ahh-ing at her festive Christmas “Fa La La” cookie tree.

No shortage of smiles either! Love this shot of Stephanie Fourie (courtesy of Amber).

One of several gorgeous, cookie-laden tables! We also had a gluten-free table and even a savory table.

I sneaked a shot of Sarabeth’s loot while she was off writing down the names of some of the cookies she had snagged.

People were only temporarily distracted from cookie heaven by the delicious barbecue buffet put out by Elizabeth Karmel (Owner and Executive Chef at Hill Country Barbecue).

The venue was perfect – plenty of space for eating, swapping and catching up with friends, old and new.

Abby Dodge was thrilled to win a brand new, 7 quart KitchenAid stand mixer. You’d think that the Baking Queen herself would have a dozen stand mixers. But she told me hers was on its last leg, so this was the best Christmas gift she could have received!

Wonderful friends!

At the end of the afternoon Andy and I walked home – simply happy. This holiday season, I am grateful for so much. But I am constantly amazed by the blogging community and the incredible space it fills in my life. For all you do on your blogs and beyond, thank you!