‘The Fudge Lady’ coming to Pike County Fair July 29-31

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Vicki Hansen

BOWLING GREEN, Mo. — A woman who makes fudge and sends it to military personnel around the world will offer confections at the Pike County Fair.

Vicki Hansen will share a booth with North East Community Action Corporation Pike County Service Coordinator Kirsten White, who will offer information on agency programs and services. Hansen will provide free samples to veterans on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, July 29-31. Other fairgoers may indulge in exchange for a donation. Proceeds will offset Hansen’s postage and shipping costs.

“It is exciting because I get to meet people and veterans,” Hansen said. “Postage goes up, and it’s a challenge. The more I send out, the more the postage.”

Hansen’s effort was handed down from family members, who made treats for service people during World War II. Delectable scents fill her tiny kitchen 10 hours a day, seven days a week from October to July. All told, the 71-year-old grandmother produces about 21 tons each year and sends it to service people around the world.

“I want to give the military hope.” Hansen said. “They need to know a lot of us care about them. This is my way of doing it.”

Hansen recently received Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s Honors Award.

“The freedom and liberty we enjoy in our country came at great cost and sacrifice from all who have worn the uniforms of our nation’s Armed Forces,” Schmitt said in a letter to Hansen. “They stepped up to defend our freedom and the ideals our country represents, and I am grateful for your incredible efforts to ensure that our troops understand the depth of our gratitude. It is citizens like yourself who dedicate untold amounts of time and money on selfless projects solely for the benefit of others that make our country so great.”

At the fair, Hansen will feature at least 15 of the more than 35 varieties of fudge she produces, including butterscotch, apple, cherry and mint. She’ll pack it in coolers. Basics of the secret Irish recipe remain hidden from all but the most trusted visitors to her St. Charles home.

Each shipment to active, inactive or retired military personnel contains 25 pounds. Contributions help, but Hansen pays most of the bill for ingredients and shipping in tin containers or foam coolers. She’s gotten as many as 60 telephone calls in a day.

The military is a strong tradition for Hansen. Her father and two of her four children served the country. Hansen says she’ll quit making and sending fudge when she’s 87. That means a baby born in 2021 will be old enough to drive around the time her iron skillet is finally retired.

“I just love doing it,” she said. “I’m not going to stop now.”

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