Cactus Cones donation

Cactus Cones owners Candy and Travis Ginn, left, present a $900 donation to Shelly Hollingshed and Holli Massey for the Coweta Cares project. The money was raised through a ‘Skip the Line VIP Card’ fundraiser and customer donations. CHRISTY WHEELAND/AMERICAN-TRIBUNE

Patrons of Cactus Cones in Coweta love their specialty cones, and have put their support behind a local charity project to show it.

Business owners Candy and Travis Ginn hosted a “Skip the Line VIP Card” auction April 29-May 2 to benefit Coweta Manor Nursing Home and the Coweta Cares project. The project gives encouragement and support to nursing home residents and staff members who have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic this spring.

To anyone who knows about Cactus Cones located on Highway 51 in the Oak Grove Center, long lines are a given. Customers have been known to sit in line for more than an hour just to enjoy one of the cold, sweet, tasty treats. They say the wait is well worth it.

To get a chance to skip the line … well, it was certainly worth bidding on by many.

The online bidding process took place on the Cactus Cone Facebook page using PayPal, Cash App and Venmo.

“We asked everyone who saw the post on Facebook to donate just $5 if they could because a little can go a long ways if we all join together. Our goal was to raise $500,” Candy Ginn said. “We thought if we could get the bid to $250, Cactus Cones would match the bid.”

“The bid got up to $150. Bidding would end at midnight that Saturday, and at 11:55 p.m., Daniel and Marissa Brooks bid $200,” she added.

A couple from Texas who are friends of the Ginns put up a bid of $150 for a little girl who was in on the bidding process along with her mom. When they were outbid, the couple still gave their money so it could be given to the youngster for treat purchases this summer.

Along the way, others simply donated to the cause rather than bid on the line pass.

“A few patrons gave us $100, another gave us $50 and yet others would pay for their cones and say keep the change,” Ginn noted. “With our (bid) match and the rest of the donations, we raised $900. Thank you to everyone who has bid and donated!”

Ginn said she could simply cry because of all the support she and her family has received for not only their business venture, but for wanting to support others in their community. As business continues to prosper, the Ginns want to give back to the community.

As bid winners, the Brooks family can use their pass to skip the line five times this year and receive free specialty cones on their visit for a family of four. They simply have to call ahead to place their order.

Funds raised by the line pass auction will be used to purchase items for the nursing home.

Holli Massey, a Coweta Cares volunteer, lives behind Coweta Manor. She would like to get bird feeders to place outside of the residents’ windows.

“I see several couples talking through the windows, and some of them have bird feeders. That’s personal for me,” Massey admitted. “Some of these residents never have visitors, so when we had our parade, they were so excited that people just drove by to support them.”

Project coordinator Shelly Hollingshed said when volunteers can physically get inside the nursing home, they can identify what items are needed and decide how additional funds can be used.

In the meantime, they continue to help provide meals for employees who have worked tirelessly in the battle against COVID-19.

Massey said if it were not for the Coweta community, Coweta Cares could not be able to do what it does. The time will come where funds may be distributed to others in the community with need.

“We will use money as we are made aware of needs. Any crisis or need that is brought to our attention will be up for consideration,” Massey said. “There are so many ways to help and give back to the community. If you know someone who may need help, please reach out to us.”

To help support the Coweta Cares project, call Hollingshed at 918-630-5983 or Massey at 918-304-0769.