A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Sweet Blessings seeking volunteers for seventh anniversary bake-a-thon set for February 27

Every child deserves a birthday cake. Sweet Blessings is a nonprofit organization creating specialty birthday cakes for children ages 4 to 17 who are living in poverty, facing a life-threatening illness or with special needs. In 2017 Sweet Blessings served 2,730 children in Central Kentucky. Each birthday cake is handcrafted with a special design tailored especially to that child.

To celebrate Sweet Blessings’ own birthday in February, a one-day volunteer “bake-a-thon” event is scheduled for Feb. 27. The bake-a-thon is a unique volunteering opportunity in the community, no special skills required. If you can use a cookie cutter, the Sweet Blessings veteran volunteers can teach you how to make an amazing birthday cake.

“People have asked me if I get tired of making birthday cakes all the time. The answer is no! Each cake is different because every child is unique and special,” said Ashley Gann, founder and executive director of Sweet Blessings. “I cannot tell you how blessed I am to see so many smiling faces, from the volunteers who donate a couple hours of their time to these thousands of children we have served over the years, one sweet child at a time.”

Anyone who wants to volunteer, and have fun while doing so, is invited to Sweet Blessings’ all-day bake-a-thon on Tuesday, Feb. 27. To celebrate the seventh anniversary of Sweet Blessings (the first cake was delivered on Feb. 26, 2011), volunteers will bake, make and decorate a goal of 163 birthday cakes — this is the same number of cakes the organization made in its first year, and now they will make that many in one special day. The bake-a-thon takes place at Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church (180 E. Maxwell St. in downtown Lexington) beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27 and continuing through the night until the last cake is finished, which could take up to 24 hours.

The birthday cakes will be delivered the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 28.

The inaugural bake-a-thon in 2012 lasted 24 hours and produced 28 cakes; volunteers at the February 2013 bake-a-thon created 50 cakes. In 2014, 55 cakes were made in just over 12 hours. In 2015, production almost doubled for a total of 102 cakes. For 2016, volunteers created 114 cakes and 154 in 2017.

All cakes are made by volunteers. No experience is necessary. Volunteers are needed to bake and decorate the birthday cakes, as well as wash dishes and clean up afterward, help out with organizing supplies and ingredients in the kitchen, box up the cakes, transport cakes by car, provide moral support and spread the word on social media.

Anyone interested in participating in the bake-a-thon can sign up for a time slot through a link in the “7th Annual Bake-a-Thon” section of the home page, www.sweetblessingscakes.org, or contact Ashley Gann at ashley@sweetblessingscakes.org.

Individuals and businesses are also invited to sponsor a Sweet Blessings cake any time of the year with a $50 donation at sweetblessingscakes.org.

Also planned for 2018 is the seventh annual Great Cake Race 5K/1Mile on Sunday, May 6th at Keeneland to benefit Sweet Blessings.

From Sweet Blessings Cakes

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