Janet Alder, with the help of her family and a few close friends, is well-known for her homemade spudnuts. Every Halloween for the past 30 years they have given out freshly-fried spudnuts to trick-or-treaters in Millville.
This year, she and her family are making spudnuts with a purpose. They are making them as a benefit fundraiser for Aaron Thatcher, who is battling Stage IV Adenocarcinoma Lung Cancer. The Thatchers and Alders have been lifelong friends. Their kids are all about the same age and they started out in the same Providence neighborhood. They will still hand out the pastries to children without obligation.
“I’ve known Aaron since the day he was born,” she said.” I’ve cheered for him through his entire athletic career. He is an exceptional person. He is a giant among giants.”
Thatcher was a multi-sport athlete at Mountain Crest High School and, at one time, was a Major League Baseball pitching prospect.
Last year, the Alder bunch cooked 3,500 donuts; this year she’s planning on upping their output to 5,000.
“We plan on starting to hand them out on Halloween afternoon at 4 p.m. and go until 9 p.m.,” she said. “As far as donations go, we don’t care if people give a card or a quarter.”
There are three ways to get involved. The first is to bring your family to the house at 190 East 100 North in Millville between 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. There will be a box on site for donations.
The second way is to buy a dozen frozen spudnuts between now and Halloween. Contact Alder at her home or by email, Donuts4bigA@gmail.com. In the email tagline include hot or cold (cooked or frozen). Include your name, address, phone number and if you are going to pick them up or would like them delivered.
The frozen spudnuits will stay fresh in the freezer, Alder said. They are easy to raise and fry.
The third way to help is to treat the office on Halloween Day. Spudnuts can be purchased between 12 noon to 4 p.m. on Halloween Day and they can either be taken to work or they can be delivered. Deliveries must be within a 10 mile radius. Orders are due before Oct. 30th at 8 p.m.
The money can also be Venmoed to @Marci-Thompson.
Alder said she would have a hard time doing the treats without her six children, their spouses, grandchildren and close neighbors.
The whole clan is involved all mixing the ingredients, shaping the dough, dropping them into the oil, dousing them in sugar and cinnamon, blotting, cooling, and handing the treats out.
“We have donuts all over the house; in our living room, in our kitchen, everywhere,” she said. “We may even freeze a few.”
Thatcher’s classmates put together a GoFundMe account for the Mountain Crest Class of 1992. The listed goal is $25,000; as of Thursday evening they have over $16,000.
“I don’t know what my goal is. All I know is he is fighting for his life and I want to do anything I can to help,” Alder said. “He is going to try a brain radiation, but he has to be off radiation for a time before they can proceed.”
The family has a blog (aaronlorraine.blogspot.com) where the Thatcher family chronicles what they are going through.
“I asked his mother’s permission to do this fundraiser,” Alder said. “They returned four months ago from a mission.”
“I’m just trying to be as good as I can be. He’s set the bar for me,” she said. “I just want to let him know we are all behind him and his family and his mom and dad.”