SCV Youth Project will hold its fourth annual Sweet Charity Cake Auction on Saturday, April 21, to raise funds for its proactive support of at-risk teens in local schools and homes. Members of the community are invited to come and see the amazing confections of local businesses and organizations, which create cakes that represent their logo, product, or purpose in some way. Each cake is auctioned off to the highest bidder and the proceeds benefit SCVYP.
SCVYP was founded in 2000, with the mission “to provide a safe, nurturing environment where at-risk teens and their families are strengthened, empowered and equipped with the tools they need to live successful and healthy lives,” according to their website. Their programs include peer mentoring, crisis intervention, employment assistance, parenting education, grief counseling, and life skills classes.
Youth Project Executive Director Kim Goldman started the Cake Auction in 2009 because she “thought it would be an interesting way to include businesses around the community to advertise and promote their business in a unique way while benefiting a charity.” She sees it as a “unique opportunity for a different demographic to come to an event.”
“The people that are coming to do it are closet bakers… It’s inexpensive. It’s a family event, so we get usually between 150 to 200 people that come,” she said.
This year, SCVYP has invited four celebrities and experts to judge the at least 30 cake entries. Two culinary experts, Toni Minor and Cindy Schwanke will judge alongside actresses Taylor Spreitler and Vicki Lewis.
Toni Minor is a returning judge for the Cake Auction, having participated in 2009. She is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy and the owner and operator of Getting Fresh Craft Service, which has catered to productions such as “American Idol,” “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and “The Bachelor.”
Cindy Schwanke teaches the culinary arts full time at College of the Canyons. Her resumè includes positions at Hyatt Hotels, Four Seasons Hotel, Smashbox Studios, and Spago restaurant. She also holds medals from several pastry competitions.
Actress, singer, model and philanthropist Taylor Spreitler comes to the SCV from the set of “Melissa and Joey,” the ABC Family show that premiered in August 2010. She enjoys supporting such organizations as Much Love Animal Rescue and Revlon Walk for Breast Cancer.
Vicki Lewis has also appeared on “Melissa and Joey,” but is best known for her role as Beth the secretary on the NBC series “News Radio.” In addition to several TV shows, she recently starred in the title role of the Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s production of “Hello Dolly.”
The Sweet Charity Cake Auction will begin at 6:30 p.m. on April 21 at TPC Valencia. General admission is $40 per person. If you are interested in entering a cake or purchasing tickets online, visit http://www.helpnothassle.org/cake.