CareLink will host its signature fundraising event, Cupcakes for Goodness Sake, again this fall.
[dropcap]Bakers[/dropcap] from Central Arkansas will come together to create uniquely flavored treats at a savory brunch-themed cupcake event.
The fun begins at 2 p.m. on Oct. 23 at Bespoke-Southern Light Pictures Studio, located at 2207 Cantrell Road in Little Rock. Last year, more than 300 guests attended and helped raise an excess of $45,000.
CareLink is a nonprofit organization that provides resources for the elderly and their families. The company, according to its website, “connects homebound older people with specialized services” so they may live independently. These services include meals, housekeeping, legal advice and assistance with Medicare.
“Last year, this event specifically benefited our Meals on Wheels program,” said Michelle Gilbert, CareLink marketing and outreach officer. She said they are motivated, in part, by the fact that Arkansas is No. 1 in the nation for food insecurity among seniors.
Meals on Wheels is a program in which seniors who are unable to shop or cook receive hot or frozen meals. Volunteers and staff drivers deliver 1,200 meals each weekday within an hour. The meals are prepared in the nonprofit’s kitchen in North Little Rock. Volunteers make deliveries during their lunch hours; others are retired and simply enjoy community service.
“Meals on Wheels is our largest program, however, we also offer several additional services,” stated Gilbert. This year, the funds raised will be applied to everything we do. Our assisted-devices program helps supply new walkers and other necessary items that insurance doesn’t always cover. We offer a senior companion program, where we pair an active older person with a homebound individual; this helps with the isolation factor that some homebound people experience.”
Cupcakes for Goodness Sake will benefit many individuals in need of services, while also educating the public about CareLink’s mission of caring for seniors.
“This is a really fun event for our community to participate in,” CareLink Development Director Randi Harville said. “We are going to have groups of professional bakers as well as amateur bakers. We will have a lighthearted competition between the bakers, and a panel of kid judges will choose the winner of the professional category. We are really excited to have Officer Tommy Norman from the North Little Rock Police Department as our host.” In light of national attention to police community interaction and Officer Norman’s engagement with online, he has become a social media favorite with new fans from across the country for his care and involvement with families in North Little Rock.
Aspen Smith will serve as a guest judge. Last year, Smith won the Arkansas 2015 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and represented the state at last year’s Kids State Dinner, which was hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama.
“The Obamas were all really nice, and it was neat to cook for them,” Smith said. “I love art, and I love to eat, and I feel that cooking and baking combines the two. I am looking forward to being a guest judge. I haven’t been to many of the bakeries in Arkansas, and I am excited to try their cupcakes.”
The professional bakeries consist of PattiCakes Bakery, Cupcakes on Kavanaugh, Blue Cake Company, Dempsey Bakery and Sweet Lavender Bakeshop. The amateur categories will consist of individuals, as well as groups.
General admission tickets to the fundraiser are $30 and include cupcake samples, complimentary cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and the opportunity to participate in a silent auction. South on Main will provide appetizers and cocktails for guests.
“We are so thankful for our presenting sponsors, Dom and Karen Yezzi, for covering all of the expenses associated with the event,” Harville said. “I love that the sponsors and guests can purchase tickets knowing 100 percent of their money will benefit those in need.” All funds raised from additional sponsors, such as Entergy Arkansas and Caterpillar Equipment, plus ticket sales will be applied directly to CareLink programs.
Guests will have a unique opportunity to remember their time at Cupcakes for Goodness Sake with a custom cupcake designed T-shirt. “We are excited to have Electric Ghost, thea screen printing company from SoMa, with us during the event offering live screen printing,” Harville said.
Kelli Marks, a local professional baker, will host a cupcake decorating demonstration for kids.
“Last year I was invited to be part of the inaugural event for Cupcakes for Goodness Sake as a professional baker, and it was so much fun,” Marks said. “This year I’m going to head up a hands-on cupcake crafting area for the kids. Several of the bakers did demonstrations last year and you could see the kids were itching to get involved, so it’s going to be structured that way from the start this year.”
To purchase tickets for Cupcakes for Goodness Sake go to carelink.org or call 501.688.7469. A limited number of tickets are available. After you purchase your tickets, take a minute to learn how you can volunteer with Meals on Wheels or any of the other CareLink programs. You can also call 501.688.7411 for more information.