Parsons Invitational Pie-makers Society

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Parsons Invitational Pie-makers Society History

In 2000 when Parsons suffered a devastating tornado, Susan Jack organized a group of volunteers including Mary Hughes, Jackie Payne, and Peggy Gentry called ‘Hands On Parsons’ to help the community recover. One of the activities they did to raise money was to set up a booth and sell pies and ice cream in the park during Katy Days. The next year Mary Hughes wanted to take it over and have it be an annual event and the Parsons Invitational Pie Society was born (PIPS). Mary and Peggy have been on the PIPS committee from the beginning . The pie sales moved into the air-conditioned Arvon Phillips Recreation Center that year and continues to be held there. 

From those small beginnings over 10 years ago, the PIPS have grown to last year’s total of 80 pie makers, which included 4 men, donating 196 pies in more than 30 varieties. Volunteers are found by committee members who begin calling their lists of pie bakers about May 1st (send out a May Day plea for help!). Each year members are encouraged to call additional friends because they always need more pies.  Fruit pies and pies made with cool whip, or cream cheese are accepted from these volunteers, who buy all the ingredients themselves, then donate the pies. Peggy Gentry said the committee considers home made pie baking an art that could soon become lost in the modern world of pre-made frozen offerings and chain-grocery store bakeries.

In 2008, regulatory guidelines from the Kansas Dept. of Agriculture restricted the type of pies that could be sold during public events. After that ruling, the PIPS were no longer able to sell any pudding/meringue pies, so for the 2009 sale, members printed their favorites in a recipe book, “Save Room for Pie”. This way they were able to provide the recipes for all types of pies, those sold at their event and those that could no longer be sold but had become favorites of Katy Days patrons through the years.

Bev Wood’s Raspberry-Rhubarb entry was selected as the Featured Pie for 2012 and Bev was given the honor of Featured Pie Maker. This honor is bestowed on members based on their reputation of being excellent in preserving the art of baking homemade pies, and of having been involved in many civic and volunteer efforts throughout the community, including having baked and donated many pies for PIPS Katy Days sales.


The members of PIPS (Parsons Invitational Pie Makers Society) did it again and deserve a big hand for an outstanding one-day pie sale at the 2013 Katy Days celebration.  We continue to match previous records as 194 delicious homemade pies of over 30 varieties were sold.  These homemade pies were donated by 82 dedicated bakers that included 7 gentlemen.

There was no single featured pie for 2013 as the following pies were designated as the “featured pies”.  They were Apple Praline Pie, Pumpkin Chiffon Pie, Luby’s German Chocolate Pie, Oatmeal Pie, Christmas Fruit Pie, Pineapple Crunch Pie, Layered Lemony Delight Pie.

Our thanks go out to the following ladies and gentlemen for their generosity and support of this community celebration of the history and birth of Parsons, Kansas.

PIE BAKERS  were Carolyn Adams, Anne Allen, Misty Almond, Marge Alspaugh, Janea Anderson, Mary Lee Ashcraft, Alice Beachner, Joyce Bevan, Cheryl Bowen, Dorothy Box, Mary Catherine Brown, Joyce Burnett, Erlene Cares, Jackie Cobble, Sherri Coltrain, Charlie Coomes,  Phylis Coomes, Jerry Cruz, Vera Curtis, Tracy Debald, Joan Dillon, Audrey Forbes, Jonna Gabbert, Peggy Gatewood, Peggy Gentry, Tracy Gilmore, Dan Goddard, Robin Goddard, Janice Hentzen, Dori Howerter, Mary Hughes, Phil Jack, Susan Jack, Helen Jones, Bali Jothi, Pat Journot, Carol Knox, Linda Johnson (Labette Health), Debbie LaForge, Lori LaForge, Karen Landrum, Anita Lawrence, Kay Lawrence, Naomi Long, Amy Manners, Phyllis F. Middleton, Pat Morton, MacClaire Okie, Delores McWilliams Opare, Lori Ray, Mary Reed, Diane Salyers, Barbara Schmid, Jackie Schmid, Kay Seller, Sally Shields, Karen Shipp, Juanita Shouse, Mildred Simon, Regina Sprague, George Stump,  Linda Stump, Kat Thomas, Jody Thompson, Marge Troy, Jane Tucker, Verna VanCleave, Shirley Wall, Helen Weidert, Janelle Weidert, Peggy Weidert, Thelma Wertz, Marcia Williamson, Ginny (Bert) Wommack, Nancy Woodward, Bev Wood, Louise Yockey, Sophia Zetmeir, Wilma Zink, Ruthie Zollars, Sarai Zollars and Scotty Zollars.

We would also like to thank the following non-member workers who helped to set up, carry, cut and sell the pies during the holiday weekend to make the PIPS pie sales such a huge success.

PIE CARRIERS & HELPERS were Katie Martino, Janie Smith, Kellen Smith, Jerry Wertz, Pete Hughes, Andres Jarrett, Greg Jarrett,  Maribeth Long, Joyce Austin, Sharon Wolgamott and Arlie Journot and “His Traveling Pie Shelves”.


Pies will be sold on Saturday, May 24, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Prices will remain the same: $2.00 per slice, $12 for 9” pie and $14 for 10” pie.


2012 Featured Pie Maker


Raspberry-Rhubarb Pie



Additional Pictures




2009 - Pearl Coon

2010 - Naomi Long

2011 - Mary Hughes

2012 - Bev Wood


FEATURED PIES (began 2007)



2007 - Blackberry Pecan Streusel * Mary Hughes

2008 - Symphony * Kay Lawrence

2009 - Almond Peach Crumb * Wandalee Shaw

2010 - Peanut Butter Silk * Dori Howerter

2011 - Crunchy Carmel Applr * Roberta Vernon

2012 - Raspberry Rhubarb * Bev Wood



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