Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Blog

Meet Sarah Lee

Filed under: Bake Sale,blog,childhood cancer research,Events,Good Cookies — Tags: , , , — The Good Cookies @ 6:06 pm September 17, 2019

We caught up with Sarah Lee who has been hosting Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sales with her daughters for the last eight years and raised over $10,000.

We call Sarah Lee and her daughters our All-Stars – the very best of our #GoodCookies who are at the core of our mission to raise critical funds for pediatric cancer research.

We wanted to learn a little more about Sarah Lee, Ella and Rae and what motivates them to host their bake sales every year. Here Sarah Lee shares her wisdom and bake sale magic for others looking for a fun way to fundraise and involve kids in that very special project of giving back.

What inspired you to host a bake sale for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer? 

I was reading Parents magazine when my daughter Ella was two-years-old. I read the article by Gretchen Witt whose son Liam was battling pediatric cancer. I remember looking at little Ella sitting there singing along to Dora the Explorer and thinking that I couldn’t imagine the heartache a parent would feel when told by doctors that their child had cancer and may not survive. The thought of Ella not sitting there singing made me feel like we had to start helping. We started planning our first ever bake sale right then and there.  

Walk us through the steps you take when organizing a bake sale so that others reading this might be inspired to host a bake sale, too!  

First, my daughters and I pick our date for our bake sale which is always in September because it’s pediatric cancer awareness month and OXO has a donation matching program. 

We then start our advertising on social media. We continue to periodically put new things on the feed to keep folks interested and so that they don’t forget the date. 

We have stuck to the same menu for years, and it seems to work! We bake at least 13 dozen cookies (last year we had 16 dozen treats!) consisting of our classic heart sugar cookie with frosting, chocolate chip, iced oatmeal, oatmeal raisin, and snickerdoodle. 

A week prior we start laying out all of the bags and placing the Cookies logo stickers on them and grouping them by size. We start organizing our decorations (balloons that will need to be blown up, banners, posters, etc.) in order to see if new posters need to be made (we have been rained on in the past, and our advertising posters show it), or if any extra supplies need to be purchased. 

We always have coffee and lemonade, so we usually purchase the cups and supplies for that at this time. 

Three days before the event, we start baking the sugar cookies, because we make the dough from scratch, allowing them to cool and dry, frosting them, and letting them set so that they can be placed in the clear bags (these are our biggest fan favorite!). 

Then two days before the event we start baking all of the other cookies and placing them in bags. 

The (very early) morning of the event, we get the balloons inflated, make the coffee and lemonade, set up the tents and tables and decorate, get on our Cookies gear (shirts, aprons, and hats we had made), because we want to look official!

We post one last blast announcement on social media and wait for the guests! Once the event is over, we clean up and then add up all of our donations and let our community know how we did!

How did you find the process of working with the Cookies fundraising team to get you the support you needed to start? 

When we reached out to Cookies fundraising team for our first bake sale, they were so excited to help us get started. The team is so helpful and goes out of their way to make it easier for us to have a successful bake sale. They offer support and guidance through email and they even talk to us one-on-one to answer any questions we may have. They are very encouraging and reached out to us several times during our planning phase to see if we needed anything.

What surprised you the most about hosting a bake sale?  

We decided to have a bake sale shortly after we had moved to our home in the Chicago suburbs and we didn’t know a lot of people yet. Even though I was on the neighborhood Facebook page, there weren’t that many folks that knew us yet, so I was worried that even if I posted our event, there might not be a big turnout. There were so many nice people that I did meet that had lived there for many years that were gracious enough to get our event out there for us in their circle of friends and the word got out!  We sold out so quickly and had more donations than we ever could have expected, and people still came to donate even after all the cookies were gone!

What was your biggest takeaway or learning moment?  

There are so many families that are touched by pediatric cancer in one way or another…we met a nurse in our neighborhood that is an oncology nurse who actually provides treatment to pediatric cancer patients. We also met neighbors who have lost loved ones or who are currently battling cancer. This disease is affecting families everywhere, and it needs to stop.

How do you feel you’ve changed from the experience of hosting a fundraiser to raise funds for critical pediatric cancer research?  

My family has definitely become more thankful that we have one another. We definitely feel a sense of accomplishment when we mail in our donations to Cookies, and we get tears of joy when we hear of children that are surviving thanks to a treatment that was funded by Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

My daughter Ella writes for a local publication called Front Porch Living and has even had two articles published regarding Cookies for Kids’ Cancer in an effort to raise awareness for the organization and pediatric cancer. Giving back has become a big part of all of our lives.

We have to ask…what’s your favorite cookie to bake?

Our heart sugar cookies, because there’s so much time spent together making them from start to finish and at the end, they’re yummy and beautiful!

Thank you so much, Sarah Lee, Ella and Rae! You inspire us so much.

Are you looking to host your own bake sale or fundraiser? Click here to sign up!

Host a Holiday Cookie Swap

Filed under: Bake Sale,Corporate Partnerships,Good Cookies — The Good Cookies @ 12:35 pm November 25, 2013

Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2013 - Cookies for Kids' CancerThe Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap is an annual event that brings together food bloggers from around the world in celebration of scrumptious treats, as well as to support Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Organized by Love & Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen, the idea is simple – and the difference adds up. We’re thrilled to say that the food bloggers raised $14,000 for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer this year!

In honor of their efforts, and to inspire everyone to Be a Good Cookie™ during this season of giving, we’re sharing a how-to for hosting your own cookie exchange this December. If we all do a little, it truly adds up to a lot.

Here are simple steps to organizing your own cookie exchange:

    Cookies for Kids' Cancer Holiday Cookie Swap
  1. Make a guest list of anyone you can ask to join. You may choose to host a get-together where guests physically exchange cookies, or you may choose to host it online and open it up to those further away. Or do both! Either way, we’re here to help – and can even set up a personal fundraising page for you.
  2. Ask each person to make a small donation to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer when they sign up or RSVP. To keep things organized, we recommend directing guests to donate through a personal fundraising page on our website OR collecting checks/cash from participants and mailing funds in at once. How much you choose to ask is up to you.
  3. Select cookie recipes and get baking! Decide how many cookies each participant should bake. If you’re hosting a get-together, tell everyone to bring their cookies with them. For virtual events, collect each participant’s name and address in a spreadsheet, select a swapper for each swappee, and give each of them the other’s information.
  4. Holiday Cookie Swap - Cookies for Kids' Cancer
  5. Swap the cookies!How you swap is up to you! Some choose to do traditional cookie swaps, where guests walk around a table, selecting one cookie per plate the first round, two from each the second round, and so on. You could also choose to swap recipes, make a game of it, or provide each participant with another’s name and address, and have them bake and send cookies to each other. If you need guidance or ideas, just ask!

Cookies for Kids' Cancer Holiday Cookie Exchange, Glad, OXORegardless of how or where you swap, you can do TWICE THE GOOD in December! Our corporate partners Glad, OXO and King Arthur Flour are ALL matching funds raised at Cookies for Kids’ Cancer events this month. Simply select one of them as your inspiration when you register your event, and you automatically DOUBLE your fundraising power!

Sign up to host a holiday cookie swap TODAY!

Have questions or looking for a bit of baking or event inspiration? Email

Happy baking!

The Glad Match is Back!

Filed under: Bake Sale,Corporate Partnerships,Good Cookies — The Good Cookies @ 10:09 am November 18, 2013

Glad to Give - Cookies for Kids' CancerGlad’s annual match is back to inspire you to get in the spirit of giving and make a difference this holiday season.

This December, Glad will match ALL funds raised at bake sales and other Good Cookie events, up to $25,000, giving you the opportunity to double your fundraising power!

Since 2009, Glad has supported Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and in our efforts to raise funds for research to find safer, more effective pediatric cancer treatments. They’ve helped inspire thousands of Good Cookies to host events, which have raised more than $1 million so far.

What started as a simple idea – for Good Cookies to use Glad products to organize and store their baked goods – has transformed into a nationwide movement to pay it forward, and to inspire people to do what they love to help fight pediatric cancer during this season of giving.

NOW is the time to get involved. We’re calling on you to rise to the occasion to make every cookie count this holiday season by taking advantage of Glad’s gift.

Remember, every dollar counts. Events come in all shapes and sizes, from collecting change at school to bake sales and cookie exchanges, and even 5Ks. No event is too small to make a difference, and if we all do a little, it adds up to a lot. Together, we CAN change the facts of childhood cancers forever.

So, Be a Good Cookie™ – Sign up to host a December bake sale or event TODAY.

If you’re looking for holiday event ideas or inspiration, simply email us at We’re here to answer any questions you have, and can provide you with the tools and resources you need to ensure your event is a success!

SNEAK PEEK: Glad has something special up their sleeve for Good Cookies! Stayed tuned for a special announcement coming soon!

Good Cookie Spotlight:
Marilyn Berney

Filed under: Bake Sale,blog,Good Cookies,Inspire — The Good Cookies @ 6:56 am October 1, 2013

Westfield, NJ Annual Bake Sale

For the 3rd year in a row, Marilyn Berney rallied her group of Good Cookies together to host their annual Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sale in Westfield, NJ.

Held at the town’s “Fest-i-Fall”, this year the group was determined to raise more funds for pediatric cancer research than ever. And they succeeded, surpassing their own fundraising goal.

“We have seen an abundance of local community support.  If you stop for a minute and listen, everyone is unfortunately affected in some way by cancer,” says Marilyn.

If we each do a little, we achieve so much.”  From personal experience, she sees that many people want to help by more than writing a check. Hosting a community bake sale truly brings people together.

This year, dozens of dedicated volunteers baked, packaged goods, took turns working the booth and even secured 19 sponsors for the event! Baked goods of all kinds (you name it, they had it!) were donated by area bakeries and restaurants, including Bovella’s, Vacarro’s, Panera, Nordstrom Café, Carlo’s Bakery and Trader Joe’s. Other sponsors included, from Costco to Staples to Shop Rite, proved that nearly the entire town was on board to show their support.

And though the annual event is over, Marilyn and her Good Cookies are continuing to raise funds and awareness. Now through October 27, when they hold their “Westfield’s Girls’ Night Out” event, they’re selling paper cookies in exchange for donations. They’re even hosting an additional bake sale on the day of to bring in additional funds!

“On Sunday, I had the honor of meeting and working with so many people in the community who are dedicated to finding a cure to eradicate this disease….and we get to help in a very sweet way. I could not have pulled this event off (again) without the help of my husband, Mike, and some very “good cookies”: Amy Radick, Kerri Proper, Sasha Proper (age 8), Aiden Donahue (age 13), Marcia Lemberg, Carol Goggi, and Jackie Plant. Be sure that we THANK EACH PERSON who donated time, cookies and money to this cause from the bottom of our hearts.”

– Marilyn Berney

Kick Summer Boredom

Filed under: Bake Sale,Good Cookies,Inspire,Uncategorized — The Good Cookies @ 10:31 am July 9, 2013

While the first weeks of summer fly by with vacations, camps and days at the pool, there comes a point where activities to keep the kids entertained aren’t easy to find. But with these five ways to kick summer boredom, your family can keep busy and give back at the same time.

1. Switch Up the Menu

Summer is a great time to get creative with recipes, especially since colorful refreshing fruit like watermelon is in season.

The opportunities for summer treats are endless. Like these easy-to-make watermelon “cookies,” sure to be a hit at any bake sale. Get more summer recipe ideas by following Cookies for Kids’ Cancer on Pinterest.

Share your favorite summer event ideas with us on Twitter and Facebook too!

2. Bring in the Troops

Planning a Cookies for Kids’ Cancer fundraiser with a Girl Scout troop is a great way for the group to have fun, bond and get involved with the community.

Additionally, any Girl Scout troop that holds a bake sale or other fundraising event will receive special Cookies for Kids’ Cancer patches for their support.

Ask about getting a troop involved today!

3. Have a Car Wash

On a hot summer day, nothing feels better than splashing in the water. Next time you’re thinking about heading to the pool or turning on the sprinklers, hold a car wash instead.

Not only will the kids enjoy decorating signs and posters, but they’ll have fun in the water, all while raising much-needed funds for pediatric cancer research.

Sign up to host an event today!

4. Start a New Tradition

Follow the lead of these Good Cookies in the Hamptons, who just held their FOURTH annual 4th of July bake sale for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Independence Day may be over, but Labor Day will be here before you know it.

National Kids’ Day and Founders’ Day are in August as well. Think about some holidays or occasions coming up this summer and celebrate by starting a new Good Cookie tradition.

5. Involve Local Businesses

Good Cookies host events in all shapes and sizes, and no effort is too small to make a difference. If you find yourself with time to spare or could use something already planned to raise funds, take advantage of the opportunity.

Many businesses offer discounted prices for charity fundraisers, and will even donate items for your event. Organize a percentage night at a local burger hang-out or ice cream shop. Turn a birthday party at the bowling alley into fundraiser. Every dollar counts.

Meggie Smith: How to Host a Successful Bake Sale

Filed under: Bake Sale,Inspire — The Good Cookies @ 1:04 pm October 29, 2012

Today’s guest blogger, Meggie Smith is a fourth year medical student at New York University.  As a past bake sale host, Meggie offers her tips for how to host a successful bake sale.

My life has crisscrossed with pediatric cancer more times that I would have liked. In 1991, my brother passed due to complications from neuroblastoma, the same type of cancer that took Liam Witt’s life. In addition, a girl in my preschool class had a below the knee amputation due to cancer, my high school best friend’s sister had a brain tumor, and, most recently, my brother’s tennis buddy has been diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma. Thus, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a charity I am passionate about.

Last year, I hosted a bake sale for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, raising $1,200 for pediatric cancer research. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a charity started by my friend, Gretchen Witt, who started the organization after her son, Liam, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at age two. Gretchen was frustrated that many of the potential therapeutic treatments for children’s cancers were unavailable due to lack of funding for new therapies for pediatric cancer. So, Gretchen took it upon herself to host a cookie sale around Christmas 2007 to raise funds herself. By selling all 96,000 cookies, Gretchen raised over $400,000!

I am most inspired by what Gretchen and the Cookies team is striving to do – make sure no parent hears, “We have this treatment, but it isn’t available yet.”

In planning my next bake sale, I made a list of some of my top bake sale tips. I hope they help you if you’re planning one, too!


1. Pick a date, location, and rain check location. Look for areas of high traffic and visibility.

2a. If you live in New York City and plan on having your bake sale in a city park, I suggest getting your park permit well in advance. It is fairly easy to apply through the NYC Parks and Recreation Department. I booked my space for 5 hours: 1 hour set up, 3 hours of bake sale, 1 hour of clean up.

2b. I suggest making your “sale” not so much a “sale,” but an event with suggested donations. This makes the Parks and Recreation permit easier to obtain and is much easier on the sale day itself (see below).

3. Start asking friends if they can help. Make your master list of volunteers – who wants to bake, who wants to help on the day of, who wants to make signs, so on and so forth. People will appreciate the heads up well in advance. See if you can have some vegan or gluten free options available.

4. Ask local bakeries if they are willing to donate products.


1. Follow up with all of your volunteers and bakeries who are donating to make sure they are still willing to help or bake!

2. Start making signs. The Cookies For Kids’ Cancer website has great ideas and has stickers and such available for sale.

3. Find something to put money in. I suggest the OXO Pop Containers. They do not lock so do make sure someone is watching the money at all times!


1. If you are picking up baked goods from anyone, schedule how you will make your rounds.

2. Make an emailable flyer to send to your friends and/or post on social media sites (twitter, facebook, etc).

3. Pre-make cookie dough and freeze it. Will make day before baking much quicker!


1. Allow at least 1 hour of set up.

2. Have people give a donation for a baked good, rather than selling them for a specific price. I used a $2 minimum for each item. This helps prevent confusion with money exchange and speeds things up if it gets rather crowded.

3. Send people out into the periphery of the park or a few streets over with a few baked goods to sell. This will help attract more crowds, too!

Good luck planning your event!

5 Reasons to Host a Summer Bake Sale

Filed under: Bake Sale,Uncategorized — The Good Cookies @ 3:28 pm June 19, 2011

5. Beat the heat with a Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Bake Sale. Try poolside at a swim meet or community celebration. Take part in a summer arts or music festival with a fun bake sale. Celebrate July 4th with a red, white, and blue-themed event. And you don’t have to heat up the house to raise funds for pediatric cancer. Chocolate covered pretzels are year-round favorites and require zero baking.

4. Keep KIDS busy. School is out and kids need something fun and productive to keep their minds and hands active. Let your kids help you organize the event – make the signs, bake the cookies, and encourage supporters to give. Why not fill your time this summer with a fun, meaningful project that gets kids helping other kids?

3. Inspire others with your event. Throughout the summer, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer will post pictures of recent bake sales on Facebook for all our supporters to see. We’ll share tips and success from summer events while using photos to inspire others to get involved. Be a part of the fun and inspiration with your own event.

2. TREATS for summer Bake Sale hosts! Register and host your event, then send us your favorite photos for Facebook. During the weeks of July 4th, July 18th, August 1st, and August 15th, we’ll encourage all our supporters to “like” our summertime photos. At the end of each week, pictures with the most “likes” will receive fun gift packs from our friends at Glad to Give and Built NY. To participate, send your bake sale pictures to

1. BECAUSE EVERY SINGLE DAY, KIDS ARE STILL FIGHTING CANCER. For as long as kids are fighting for their lives, we will be raising funds, one bake sale at a time. Join us as we raise funds for new, safer treatments for pediatric cancer to help all kids have the summer they deserve.

Thank you for supporting Cookies for Kids’ Cancer 365 days a year. Keep baking, keep fundraising, and keep fighting for all kids.

The Gift of Hope – Host a May Bake Sale

Filed under: Bake Sale,Uncategorized — The Good Cookies @ 7:45 am March 24, 2010

At Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, we encourage supporters to host bake sales all year long. Who doesn’t love cookies at Valentine’s or Easter, on a hot summer day or at a fun fall festival, and what’s November and December without fresh-baked holiday cookies? No doubt, we believe any time is a great time to support Cookies for Kids’ Cancer with a bake sale. 

But this spring, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is calling on all of our supporters to make May our biggest bake sale month to date, with the highest number of bake sales we’ve ever had. We hope to see our army of supporters fire up the ovens to bake and sell more cookies than we can even imagine. But it’s going to take lots of support to make that happen. In order to beat our single month record for bake sales, we’ll need over 350 bake sales held in May alone. That number may sound huge, but really, if people all across the country could do it in December, when it was cold, dreary and nearly everyone was busy with the holidays, it should be easy to make bright, sunny, warm May the perfect month for record-breaking bake sales.

But other than the pretty weather, why May? Well, we have a few reasons. . .

1. Mom. Yes, Mother’s Day is one important day in May, but really, why not make the entire month dedicated to the moms in our lives? Moms make us who we are, inspire us to dream, and protect us from the harms of the world. In the world of pediatric cancer, moms go from being inspirational to super-human – as they fight for their child’s life while working each day to keep the rest of the family’s life “normal.” So host a bake sale in honor of your mom, your girlfriends, your sisters. . .or in honor of all the moms of pediatric cancer warriors who see every bake sale as another sign of hope for the future. Columnist Betsy Flagler recently highlighted the power of moms in the fight against pediatric cancer in The Charlotte Observer – Personal Battles Lead to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Check out her story for an inspired reminder of the difference we all make.

2. Gifts. Please be sure to find your mom the perfect gift this Mother’s Day, but that is not the kind of gift we are tallking about. This May, all of our registered bake sale hosts will be entered to win amazing gifts from companies who believe in Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Vera Bradley, Kitchen Aid, Le Creuset, Built and others have stepped up with gifts that any baker or bake sale host would love. Stay tuned to this blog for details on all the prizes up for grabs. How do you win? Simply register your May bake sale and submit your funds raised to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer by June 5th. All completed bake sales are eligible to win. Drawing for prizes will be held Monday, June 7th and gift recipients will be notified by email.

3. Hope. Never doubt the power of a bake sale. Each time a bake sale is registered, hope is renewed in the hearts of families with children battling pediatric cancer. And there is no time like May, when the world thaws from winter and bursts into full bloom, to give the gift of hope every child deserves.

Register to host a bake sale. Do it to honor mom. Do it to win a great prize. Do it to give the gift of hope. Do it because if we all do a little, together it adds up to a lot.

The Queen City Reigns

Filed under: Bake Sale,Donations,Online donations — The Good Cookies @ 10:38 pm February 8, 2010
“If it takes a village to raise a child, it’s going to take the world to find a cure for pediatric cancer.”
In Charlotte, North Carolina, for a few hours on a rainy Sunday in December, it felt as though the whole world came together to bring an end to pediatric cancer, all inspired by one little boy with one big spirit – Grier Christenbury.

A happpy snowman greets Charlotte bake sale guests.

A happpy snowman greets Charlotte bake sale guests.

Grier, a  5 year old Charlotte native, was plunged into the world of pediatric cancer at age 2, when he was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma. Quickly Grier’s family’s focus shifted from soccer games and school to chemo, radiation, surgery, clinical trials, and most of all, keeping the cancer far, far away from his growing body. And just as quickly, the Christenburys learned of the need for funds for new and improved pediatric cancer treatments. They hoped for new options with fewer long term side effects and risks as well as higher survival rates.

Happy hosts and hungry kids.

Happy hosts and hungry kids.

But hope alone is not enough in the world of pediatric cancer. Hope needs action. So, the Christenburys threw their support to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer research. Grier’s mom Amy hosted one of the first Cookies bake sales in 2008 and planned to host another in late 2009. Then Grier was unexpectedly thrown back into battle last fall, and the focus, once again, became keeping the enemy at bay.

Nothing draws a crowd like kids!

Nothing draws a crowd like kids!

When friends in Charlotte asked what they could do to help, Amy answered, “Host a bake sale.” And, did they ever. Four weeks, hundreds of sponsors, one radio interview and two local news features later, Amy’s friend Lesa Helbein and her team of tireless (and sleep deprived) volunteers pulled off the biggest single day bake sale in Cookies for Kids’ Cancer history, raising $15,000 in just 4 hours.

Cookies + Kids + Decorations = Happiness

Cookies + Kids + Decorations = Happiness

The pictures tell the story of the holiday spirit that reigned over the Queen City on that rainy Sunday. Cookies, cupcakes, and kids with smiles greeted Charlotteans who ventured out to support the event, in the end proving that if we all do a little, together it adds up to a lot.

Kids enjoyed climbing on the fire truck.

Kids enjoyed climbing on the fire truck.

Not every bake sale is this big, with this many supporters. But every bake sale – every single one – is crucial to the world of pediatric cancer. Every penny matters, every dollar helps. Rally the people of your village and register your upcoming bake sale today

Just a few of the hundreds of Polka Dots cupcakes!

Just a few of the hundreds of Polka Dots cupcakes!

In one mommy’s words. . .

Filed under: Bake Sale,Buy Cookies Online,Donations — The Good Cookies @ 2:31 pm January 31, 2010



Diagnosed April 17th 2007, at the age of 3.5, with NB stage 4.


In the course of two hours we went from having a perfectly healthy, sweet-as-pie, joyous toddler to hearing that he had an aggressive form of cancer and might die. Cancer robbed our child of his softness, his innocence, his curls, and his endurance. It has also revealed some remarkable things. We have a little boy who says “please” and “thank you” as poisons drip into his bloodstream. A little boy who makes the hospital clowns howl with laughter.


And a little boy who learned to read a full 2 years ahead of his peers, by deciphering hospital signs for “operating room,” “radiation,” and “infusion complete.” Throughout 18 months of non-stop treatment, while undergoing pain that neither of his parents would be able to endure, Toby has taught us what it means to live with hope.


To those who want to help:

Before Toby was diagnosed I never gave a thought to children with cancer. My only frame of reference was the strangely bald kids who sometimes appeared in hospital advertising and I always turned my eyes away… it was too painful to think of children suffering. Your willingness to look at our children is the greatest gift I can imagine. Your support and your love give Toby a chance at life. Thank you.



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