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Pay It Forward: $300 For More Chocolate, Butter, & Love

Every week - twice a week - Mary Krapfl walks down the hallways of the Masonic Village in Bettendorf. Only this time, one of the residents - Doris Pells - is giving her a surprise.

"On behalf of WQAD News 8 and Ascentra Credit Union, I want to give you $300 for all you do," said Doris.

"Thank you," responded Mary. "I love it and you know that I will put it to good use and bring in all kinds of treats!"

Yes, treats - and boy, are there lots of them. Every Monday and Thursday morning, Mary brings in homemade cookies, candies, brownies, bark, and more.

"We have chocolate ooey gooey, lemon ooey gooey, strawberry, peanut butter, or chocolate fudge - with or without nuts," described Mary. "There's a cherry pie type of thing, cranberry with orange and nuts, butterfinger, almond joy, cranberry."

The list goes on and on.

"She has the best assortment," said Doris. "She has candy and fudge and bar cookies and regular cookies and she puts real good stuff in the cookies like nuts and chocolate and it's just amazing what she does."

What's even more amazing is how the "Cookie Lady" got her nickname. It started nearly five years ago, when her husband was a resident at the Masonic Village.

"I would bring cookies for him and I and coffee to share every day and an aide would walk by and he would say - 'Well, don't you have a cookie for her?'" Mary explained. "So, I started giving her a cookie and he wanted everybody to have a cookie so we did that and eventually I had a basket and he sat in the wheelchair and we wheeled around and passed out cookies to everybody and so when he passed away I thought, I want to keep this up, because it gives me as much joy as it gives everybody else."

"I'm just amazed by how she's doing this, but she does," said Doris. "She's doing it, because she wants to do us some good and I like to see people like that honored."

It's why 94-year-old Doris wanted to "Pay It Forward" to Mary to show the Masonic Village's appreciation for every slice and smile.

"I think it impacts them in a big way," said Doris. "They look forward to this like I do, because I love cookies and I've got a sweet tooth."

"It's the love behind it that makes it, and they feel that and it just makes everybody feel good," said Mary.

It's a special bond that's as sweet as Mary's treats and will last a long time.

"I plan on keeping it up as long as my body will let me do it," laughed Mary.

Mary said she spends three days a week, eight hours a day baking. She plans to use the $300 for supplies - mainly chocolate and butter.

If you know someone doing great things in the community, consider nominating them for the Pay It Forward Program by clicking here.