MUSCATINE, Iowa–Only days away from Valentine’s Day, people throughout Muscatine County continue to look for gifts to give the special people in their lives. For those hoping to find a sweet treat, the Muscatine Humane Society invites gift givers to purchase from their 17th annual candy apple fundraiser and give the gift of gourmet double dipped apples to support animals in need.
17 years ago, Muscatine Humane Society Director Chris McGinnis got the idea to do a candy apple fundraiser from a seminar she attended. From there, the sale has grown into an event people in Muscatine look forward to each year. This year’s sale will include two types of candy apples. The original will feature Granny Smith apples dipped first in caramel and then milk chocolate, drizzled with white and dark chocolate, and topped with sprinkles. The Heath Bar Crunch Apples will start with the same Granny Smith double dipped apple base, but have a final topping of crumbled toffee pieces on top instead. All apples will come decoratively wrapped in sparkly cellophane and tied with ribbons, making them beautiful and scrumptious gifts for anyone who would enjoy a fancier take on the classic caramel apple.
Making the candy apples for the fundraiser represents a labor of love, as several days of work go into dipping, topping, and wrapping the approximately one pound jumbo apples. Because many of the Humane Society’s volunteers for the project have retired or moved out of the area, they have decided to make only 850 apples, or half of their usual batch. In future years, they invite new volunteers to get in touch with them by calling 563-263-7358 or emailing to see how they can participate and keep the tradition going.
This year, the Muscatine Humane Society took preorders for candy apples through Feb. 6. With those orders completed, the Humane Society will now sell all their remaining apples at Fareway (2100 Cedar Plaza Drive in Muscatine) and at the Muscatine Humane Society (920 South Houser Street in Muscatine) beginning Feb. 8 for $17 a piece. Because of limited supplies of gourmet apples, anyone hoping to get one should purchase one sooner rather than later.
This year, the Humane Society hopes to raise $10,000 from candy apple sales. Though less than in previous years, this money will go a long way to help the Humane Society respond nimbly to unforeseen emergencies. McGinnis explained, “it just provides a cushion in our savings account if money is needed for special animal rehab or illness or in case we should take in animals from a large seizure.”
As people make their final choices on Valentine’s Day gifts, the Muscatine Humane Society hopes people will choose to give the gifts of gourmet candy apples. A unique blend of sweet and tangy flavors, the volunteers who made them know that everyone who enjoys them will feel satisfied with the taste and in knowing that they helped the Humane Society take care of all the animals they serve each day.