"Chocolate Peppermint Christmas Cookies," by Mary Beth Livengood, were announced as winning cookies at the Cookies, Cocktails and a Cause fundraising event for the YWCA Darien/Norwalk at Good Food Good Things on Nov. 30. Lori Gilmore, a pastry chef and kitchen manager of the Good Food Good Things Cafe, judged the contest by tasting more than 40 different cookies entered in the contest.

The third annual Cookies, Cocktails and a Cause ladies night event was attended by more than 70 women and was sold out over three weeks prior to the event date. More than half of the women who attended brought cookies for a cookie swap and had their cookies judged in the cookie contest. The event also featured hors d'oeuvres from Diane Browne Catering and a wine tasting. Tickets were sold for a raffle of more than $2,000 worth of prizes donated by local merchants and attendees could also make donations to the YWCA Community Tree.

"This event was a huge success and we cannot thank Good Food Good Things and Diane Browne Catering enough for hosting. Many of the attendees made donations and we are grateful to be a part of such a generous community," said Ellen Kirby, executive director of YWCA Darien/Norwalk.

Proceeds from the raffle, donations, tickets, and a percentage of sales donated by Good Food Good Things will benefit the YWCA's community outreach programs. These programs include the Job Search Support Program, which provides women with support and tools needed to find employment, and the Parent Awareness Network, which encourages the healthy and positive development of Darien youth through support and education to parents and children.

The next YWCA Darien/Norwalk fundraising event will be the spring dinner dance benefit at the Country Club of Darien on March 24.

For more information about YWCA Darien/Norwalk events and community outreach programs, visit www.ywcadariennorwalk.org or call 203-655-2535.

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The YWCA Darien/Norwalk is a nonprofit organization dedicated to giving women the support and tools they need to transform their lives, be confident in their choices and raise healthy families. Its national mission, eliminating racism and empowering women, translates locally into a vision to create opportunities for growth, leadership and empowerment for all women and families.