Candy Dance volunteers make treats for sale |

Candy Dance volunteers make treats for sale

by Caryn Haller

Wil and Linda Lemley diligently stirred a batch of English toffee Friday bringing it just up to 300 degrees before adding the vanilla and pouring it out on a sheet pan.

The new Minden residents were part of a group of volunteers stirring, scooping and packaging the 2,500 pounds of confections for Genoa’s 92nd annual Candy Dance on Sept. 29-30.

“Every process is different, but it’s all good,” said Linda, who grew up making candy with her mother. “We’ve flown up here from Los Angeles every year just to buy candy and attend the fair.”

For more than a decade, Carson City resident Joyce Hamilton has overseen quality control in the making and packaging of candy.

“I’ve been here so long I know what it should look like, and how it should break,” she said of the English toffee.

As for any errors that may occur in the process, Hamilton said, “We don’t talk about that.”

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This year’s candy offerings include peanut butter cups, fudge, divinity, English toffee, almond bark, rocky road, peanut brittle and chocolate-dipped pretzels.

“We think it’s some of the best around,” candy chairwoman Dee Dykes said of the peanut brittle, “and our English toffee is superior to any I’ve tasted. It’s an excellent recipe.”

Because the cost of some of the ingredients used in the candy have increased, the Town of Genoa had to add 50 cents on to each unit of candy sold this year.

“Nuts in general have gone up a dollar a pound since last year,” Dykes said. “The economy has been a bit of a challenge, so we try and make only what we can sell. We don’t overmake because we don’t want it to go to waste.”

Dykes said she can always use more volunteers until Sept. 22.

“They show up when they have time to give. I never know how many volunteers I’ll have,” she said. “If they want to know how to make any of the candy, they are more than welcome to write the recipe down and share it with their family. That’s one of the perks.”

She also encouraged leadership students needing community service hours to volunteer.

“We’ve already had a couple girls come to make candy this year. They’re great,” Dykes said. “Last year, we had one of the guys from Douglas football come in. We had him making toffee.”

Volunteers work in the kitchen behind Genoa’s town office 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesdays through Saturdays.

The “Denim & Diamonds” dinner dance part of this year’s event features Cash Only and the Joni Morris Band 4:30 p.m. Sept. 29.

Dinner includes barbecued pork and chicken and fixings with a no-host bar. Advance tickets are available until Sept. 21 for $28. Dance-only tickets in advance and at the door are $20.

To volunteer or for more information call, 782-8696.

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