SIDNEY — It was a family affair of grand champions Sunday night for the annual baked goods auction at the Shelby County Fair.
Sondra Pence, of Anna, won the grand champion prize in two categories — cakes and cookies. Her pumpkin spice cake with maple butter cream frosting took top honors in the cake judging. Her coconut-citrus cookies were the best cookie entered in the competition.
Her daughter, Lisa Spurgeon, of Sidney, won her first grand champion title in the pie category with her pecan pie.
Sondra’s sister-in-law, Susan Bertsch, of Anna, won the candy grand champion award with her Buckeyes.
The fifth grand champion baked good was in the breads/rolls category and was won by Wendy Langenkamp, who entered Carmel Apple Buttermilk Bakery Muffins.
“It really is a family affair for us,” said Erin Pence, Sondra’s daughter. “I’m the manager of who’s entering what.”
Sondra’s cake was purchased by Sidney Body CarStar for $575. She mouthed “wow” when auctioneer Dick Barhorst announced the cake had been sold.
Her cookies were purchased by Best One Tire for $450.
Lisa’s pie sold for $600 and was purchased by Shelby County Commissioners Julie Ehemann, Bob Guillozet and Tony Bornhorst, Shelby County Treasurer John Coffield and Auctioneer Troy Kies.
“Wasn’t that exciting,” said Barhorst after getting the bidders to rise the price time and time again.
Susan’s Buckeyes were purchased by Detailed Machining for $450. Wendy’s muffins sold for $675 and were purchased by Billing Insurance and Made in the Shade Tents and Tables.
“I was up late last night (Saturday) baking all this stuff,” said Sandra, who also entered a pecan pie in the contest.
Sondra feels the cake won because of its maple icing.
“The maple icing is so good and you can smell it a mile away,” she said. “It’s also a nice moist cake.”
The cookies are for the coconut lover, she said.
“They are also so lemony that when you lift the cover off you can smell the lemon,” said Sondra.
She said she was up until 5 a.m. Sunday morning finishing her baking for the contest. She dropped her items off at the fair and went home to take a nap before she had to work in the fine arts building’s antique display.
“A woman who had also entered was checking to see how she had done and she recognized my name,” said Sondra. “She came to where I was working and she told me she thought I had won big. She offered to stay with the display while I went to check, but I told her I wanted to be surprised.”
And surprised she was with two grand champion baked good items.
Lisa said it was pure luck that she won the pie grand champion title.
“It was a modified recipe from my grandmother,” she said. She also entered another pecan pie, biscuits and cinnamon rolls in the competition.
Susan said this was only the second time she had made the Buckeyes.
“I threw some new things into the recipe,” said Susan. “I added brown sugar and honey.
“I was totally surprised when they told me I had won,” she said. “Entering the Buckeyes was a last minute thing.”
She also entered a peach pie, cherry pie, peach cobbler and cookie bars in the competition.
“I thought the peach pie would win,” she said. The pie placed second behind Laura Schulze’s pie.
“So I bought Laura’s pie to see why it won,” said Susan.
Barhorst said it was the largest crowd he’s seen in many years at the auction.
“It’s exciting to see people come in and get involved with the auction,” said Barhorst.
At the end of the evening, Barhorst said he was happy to see some new names/businesses purchasing items at the auction.