Imagine this: You walk into the Tennessee Terrace concourse at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville greeted by long tables filled with children’s books and colorful, creative companion cakes! And then you know: Reading really is in a sweet spot!
It’s all part of a major fundraiser for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a program that provides new books to children under the age of six in Knox County, Tennessee. And with over 3,000 people in attendance, the net estimate of $25,000 by Mary Pom Claiborne (marketing director for Knox County Public Library) may be low since cakes, donated baked goods, and t-shirts were on sale, too. (Click here: News-Sentinel: Cake Bake a sweet event to benefit Imagination Library.)
The main goal, of course, is to encourage reading at a young age, and, judging from the kids and grown-ups we saw, children (of all ages) were eager to dig into books as well as cupcakes, cookies, and cakes.
We were also anxious to see what this year’s competition would bring since our blog post Books and Buttercream at The Great Cake Bake (Click here) nabbed the highest views of any post in 2013. And, this year, we were definitely not disappointed. In fact, if you had followed us around, you would have heard How’d they do that? multiple times since the mysteries of fondant, frosting, and flourishes escape us. Here are our favorites, but who’s to say, right? Thank goodness we weren’t asked to judge.
Ranging from average size to toweringly tall, wedding cakes were judged in two categories: buttercream and fondant.
Cakes could be submitted in four categories: Professional, Intermediate, Beginner, and Junior.
The tiniest creations in the show were submitted in the Cupcake category with these divisions: Cake Pops, Intermediate, Beginner, and Junior
A new category this year, Diaper Cakes, first involved supporters who donated $150.00 so that volunteers could create “cakes” out of diapers. Yes, diapers. After being carefully rolled and stacked to form “layer cakes,” diaper cakes were decorated based upon the theme of a beloved children’s book.
T-shirts were everywhere — on volunteers, Cake Bake attendees, etc. Parker Foppiano manned the table full of t-shirts (royal purple this year!) emblazoned with the Great Cake Bake logo.
And baked goods were on sale for grown-ups who couldn’t pass up a bargain at the end of the day. Like husband Bert who toted home cookies, oatmeal bread and a carrot cake at the insistence of long-time supporter of Friends of the Library, Bonnie Naugher.
Thanks to sponsors Sugarbakers and Food City and the many volunteers and Friends of the Library, the fifth annual Great Cake Bake is history — and a profitable one for a good cause, too.
If you missed this year’s Cake Bake, make a note for next year. After all, who doesn’t like to have their cake and reading, too?
For more information and pictures:
Check out my Pinterest Board: Fancy Cakes for pictures from The Great Cake Bake as well as other creative cakes I’ve found on the Web: http://www.pinterest.com/rushasams/fancy-cakes/
For the News-Sentinel article by Mike Blackerby “Cake Bake a sweet event to benefit Imagination Library,” click here.
For more on Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, click here.
For more on Friends of the Knox County Library, click here.