Cookie Fairy brings sweetness to Auburn

Community Portrait
By: Michael Kirby
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What started as a special Christmas tradition for her grandchildren has turned into a fun passion for Judith Larrew. Looking for a way to make her family Christmas celebrations more fun for her grandchildren, Larrew invented an alter ego, the Cookie Fairy, a corny, fun, fairy who loves little kids and makes delicious cookies. “I also go by Maude Befuddled, or Maude Be Mayhem depending on my mood,” Larrew said. She puts on an outlandish wig and a 1950s taffeta prom dress with pink hand-lettering on it. Larrew wears over-the-top face make-up and carries a parasol to complete the Cookie Fairy persona. “I made special sugar cookies every year at Christmas for my four grandkids and I decided I would dress up to liven things up a little,” she said. “I’d got the kids into playing bingo. I’d call the numbers and they would have to get a bingo to open a present, and it was really fun.” The act just kind of grew into a family Christmas tradition and Larrew’s grandchildren loved the new dimension added to the family holiday gatherings. Even now, though her grandchildren are older, the Cookie Fairy, like Santa Claus, shows up every year at the Larrew household during the holiday season. One of Larrew’s granddaughters, Molly Carpenter, works at Paula’s Bake Shop in Downtown Auburn and she asked Larrew if she would take her Cookie Fairy public and help with them with an advertising gimmick. “Grandma, will you dress up as the Cookie Fairy and hand out cookies at Cruise Nite?” she asked. The plan was for Larrew to come to Cruise Nite as the Cookie Fairy and distribute cookies as a sample of the tasty desserts made at Paula’s Bake Shop. Following Larrew’s Cookie Fairy were Paula’s owner Paula Grazanio and Carpenter with more goodies for sale. The Cookie Fairy was a big Cruise Nite hit and young and old were treated to some great desserts. Even a member of the Sugar Plump Fairies, a local group of wonderful ladies who dress up in outlandish outfits and old prom dresses like Larrew, approached her about joining their group of fun-loving fundraising fairies, knowing she would be a perfect fit. As a child Larrew had a childhood illness that kept her inside and she was unable to play outdoors with other kids and she missed a lot of school. This experience had a lasting impact on her and she hopes that the Cookie Fairy might be able to make an ill child who is unable to play outside, or attend school like other children, smile a little with a special visit from the Cookie Fairy. “I would really love to visit children that are sick and have some fun with them. I know what it’s like to miss school and not play outside,” Larrew said. She will show up as the Cookie Fairy, armed with cookie treats and a few favorite books to read to the children. It’s a little bit corny, but kids really respond to her character and as we talked outside of Paula’s Bake Shop recently, a family was inside purchasing desserts and a young girl just couldn’t stop staring at Larrew dressed as the Cookie Fairy, eventually talking her mom into taking a photo of her with the Cookie Fairy before leaving. Larrew can be reached at (530) 886-8041, and welcomes any opportunity to make any youngster’s day a little brighter in any way she can.