Jorge Teles has some big shoes to fill as the new coordinator of Campaign Life Coalition’s annual Christmas cake sale program.

Also serving as director of the Yesterdays Treasures thrift shop in Toronto, Teles takes over from long-time cake sale coordinator Tom Brown, who died August 31. Brown had supervised CLC’s cake sale effort for the last 10 years.

Teles assumes control of an annual fund-raising project that has become an important part of CLC’s financial viability. “I know I have a big job ahead of me in taking over for a man who did such a wonderful job with the program all these years,” Teles said.

Teles will be working with Nadia Gahagnon of CLC to prepare this season’s orders and coordinate the efforts of volunteer sales personnel. The majority of the Christmas cakes are sold at churches in Toronto and southern Ontario, although orders occasionally come from northern Ontario and other provinces in Canada. The program runs from November to Christmas Eve each year. It involves the sale and delivery of $12 (two-pound) and $20 (three-pound) custom-baked fruitcakes.

“Tom Brown’s untimely death was a big setback for us all, because although he was planning to step back as director of the program, I was hoping he would be available to answer my questions and help me in other ways this year,” Teles said.

Teles faces an additional challenge with this year’s cake sale program. Last year, the former suppliers from the Cistercian monastery moved their operation from Orangeville, north of Toronto, to the small community of Oka, in south-central Quebec. Because the Cistercian monks could no longer meet the program’s demand for cakes, CLC this year has turned to the Whitby, Ont.-based Heritage Baking Company to fulfill this year’s needs. Pro-life supporter Peter Scholtes of Heritage Bakery is playing a key role in the transition.

Heritage Bakery continues the Cistercian Monks tradition of providing custom-baked traditional Christmas cakes, using the finest quality ingredients and a special, home-made recipe.

CLC officials are optimistic that this year’s Christmas cake sale program will be the most successful to date. The pro-life organization is in the process of moving to a new national headquarters, resulting in an urgent need for additional fund-raising. As Teles explained in a September letter to volunteers and supporters, “Moving from our present location will result in additional expenses. To offset this additional burden, it becomes critical that our Christmas cake sale become the most successful to date.”