Friday, March 30, 2012

Cupcake benefit yields sweet returns for Books from Birth of Middle Tennessee

NASHVILLE–Cupcake-palooza, a tasting party featuring more than 3,000 donated cupcakes by area vendors and home bakers, brought in almost $4,000 for Books from Birth of Middle Tennessee.

Now in its third and biggest installment yet, Cupcake-palooza drew more than 250 people to Belmont United Methodist Church’s community center to sample cupcakes and support child literacy on March 24, despite rainy weather and threats of hail. The event was sponsored by Abode Real Estate.

Mayor Karl Dean attended the event, speaking to the audience about the importance of books and reading before announcing the winning amateur and semi-professional bakers: first place to Markisha Dryden for her strawberry cupcake; second place to Angela Roberts for her coconut cupcake, and third place to Katie Bond and Lisa Young for their carrot spice cupcake with coconut buttercream icing.

“We were thrilled with the turnout, and with the Mayor addressing the crowd on how great the Imagination Library is, and encouraging everyone to keep reading,” said Director of Books from Birth Sheryl Rogers. “More than 68,000 local children have received Imagination Library books, and events like this help ensure we have the funding to continue.”

New this year, Smart Sprouts sponsored a children’s craft zone, and Game Stop provided a Wii gaming area for kids to jump, dance and play. Noodles & Co., a Green Hills pasta restaurant, donated biodegradable to-go containers.

“We wanted people to be able to enjoy cupcakes at home, so we added a to-go option this year,” said event organizer Joan Brasher. “It was a huge hit and we will do it again next year.”

Local author Shellie Braeuner performed readings of her hit children’s book “The Great Dog Wash,” and offered dog-themed cupcakes.

Organizers ended the event by distributing six boxes of cupcakes to Ronald McDonald House and Nashville Rescue Mission.

Bakeries who donated included The Cupcake Collection, The Painted Cupcake, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Mattie-Cakes, The Sweet Stash, Grins Vegetarian Café, Costco, Harris Teeter and Vanderbilt Dining, among others. Additional treats were provided by Tasti D-Lite and Blue Bell Ice Cream, and QDoba Mexican Grill provided free samples of Mexican gumbo.

Books from Birth of Middle Tennessee’s mission is to increase literacy and school readiness while strengthening family relationships. Books from Birth gives local preschoolers books at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, and also in the mail monthly from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The costs are split among the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation, the Children’s Hospital, and money raised locally. For information, please call (615) 936-6353 or visit

For more photos or information, follow on Facebook; and on Twitter @cupcake_palooza.

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