By 2 p.m. Thursday, most of the goodies had been sold and UCF staff started counting the cash raised – $522 in total – to benefit Autism Speaks, a nonprofit organization that funds research and helps families confronted with the condition.

Hungry students and other passerby gobbled up baked treats, fruits, coffee and other goodies offered at a Halloween bake sale organized by the employees of the UCF College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS). About 20 CECS employees donated items for the sale.

The proceeds will be donated at the “Walk Now for Autism Speaks” event this Saturday at Cranes Roost Park in Altamonte Springs.

The bake sale is an annual tradition for CECS staff, who have raised more than $2,000 since 2009 for Autism Speaks.

“The key to a successful bake sale, we’ve learned, is to have it on Halloween or another themed day and locate it in the Engineering II atrium,” said Lillian Moreno Ruiz, who works in the CECS Office of Research. “People appreciate the easy access to some quick calories between classes or meetings, and they are happy to help a great cause,” she added.

Healthy options, such as bananas and other fruit, are popular and sell-out fast.

In addition to benefitting Autism Speaks, CECS employees organized a Valentine’s Day bake sale this year, raising nearly $400 to help a fellow CECS staff member who experienced a devastating house fire.

Past CECS staff bake sales have benefitted Relay for Life, care packages for overseas troops and local families in need.