These days, the Cookie Brigade is practically a cornerstone of Penny Arcade Expo. We’ve mentioned them in other articles, and anyone who’s been to a PAX event will remember these awesome people who hand out cookies and ask for nothing in return. A treat from the Cookie Brigade might give you the hit of sugar that you need to keep going, or just make waiting in those long lines a little more enjoyable.
In fact, the Cookie Brigade began with a very simple observation: Some of the lines at PAX are really long! In 2007, two attendees decided that they were going to help in whatever small way they could. They brought cookies to give out to other congoers to make the waiting a bit more tolerable as an act of friendship towards other attendees. Although they didn’t want any money in return, some people insisted on paying for the cookies, which left them wondering what to do with this new windfall. They decided that they were going to donate whatever money they got to charity, and so the Cookie Brigade as we know it was born.
From those humble beginnings, the Cookie Brigade has grown into a volunteer organization that reaches all five PAXes and raises tens of thousands of dollars every year. While they still don’t charge for their baked goods, they gratefully accept all donations which they pass along to Child’s Play - the charity, not the movie about the stabby doll. In the twelve years they’ve been active, the Cookie Brigade has raised more than $500,000 to help improve the lives of children in hospitals and other care facilities.
Every PAX for the last few years, our sugar-starved, slightly manic leader Wyatt rushes off at least once without explanation. He returns with many small ziploc bags, filled with things like green tea matcha cookies, oatmeal raisin, and even good old fashioned chocolate chip. Thanks to being unreasonably tall, he had caught sight of a few friendly people wandering through the crowds, holding up signs promising sweets if you just come over and talk to them. The cookies taste great after hours on the show floor, and give us that rush of energy needed for the next set of interviews. Of all the money we spend during a PAX event, this is one time we know its well spent.
So, as PAX East 2019 arrives in just a few days, make sure you bring a few extra dollars for your back pocket. When you wait on line, take a moment to look around for one of those large signs wandering by, or a kindly group of people pulling a literal red wagon filled with dessert options. You won't regret it!