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Sweet Charity for SCV kids

Event raises more than $25,000 to benefit Youth Project

Posted: May 31, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 31, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Left to right, young bakers, Claire Stevens, Brandon Gelfand and Jessy Serrano, entered the Sweet Charity Cake Auction and Competition.

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It was a sweet win for Molly Sullivan, designer of the first-place SCV Youth Project “toolbox” cake.

Judges for the fourth annual Sweet Charity Cake Auction and Competition included Toni Minor who has worked for “American Idol,” “Ellen,” and the “MTV Music Awards” among other celebrity clients; Taylor Spreitler, a singer and model turned actress; Vicki Lewis, best known for her role as Beth the secretary on the hit NBC series “Newsradio”  and Cindy Schwanke, a culinary instructor at College of the Canyons.

“I was very impressed, this is art,” Minor said. “But I’m a stickler, I really judged on the theme, Say Yes to Youth.”

She enjoyed the diversity of the cake art, Lewis said.

“It was hard to judge, because you had these great smaller cakes and then these ginormous cakes,”
she said. “This event has such a great energy.”

Swanke said the cake art gets “better and better every year.”

Second place went toa  colorful topsy-turvey creation by Melinda Piligian CAKEgoodness.

The third place cake was crafted by Jills Cake Creations for KHTS AM 1220. The cake featured penguins at play.

The cake that raised the most money was sponsored by Red Temple Music,  and designed by BakeUHappy.

The cake, which featured a George Lynch-signed guitar, fetched $700 at auction.

Among the youngest bakers were eighth graders Claire Stevens, 14, Brandon Gelfand, 13 and Jessy Serrano, 14.

Serrano said she came to the event last year and really enjoyed it.

“My nana said we could enter a cake this year,” she said. “We had so much fun making the cake.”

Gelfand captured the title of Fan Favorite cake. This was Gelfand’s second time entering the contest. His Fountain of Youth cake included hundreds of dollars of gift certificates which Gelfand solicited from SCV businesses.

Stevens entered the cake contest with her sister, Sara Stevens, 16. “It was an awesome opportunity to raise money for the Youth Project,” she said. “My sister does most of the baking and I do most of the decorating.”

Co-chairs of the event were Jeri Seratti-Goldman and Renee’ Kaehny. The event, held at Tournament Players Club in Valencia, attracted more than 200 attendees.

“We’re so thrilled at the turnout and at the support we’ve received from the community,” said Kim Goldman, executive director of the SCV Youth Project.

“We’ve been quietly doing some amazing work with kids in the SCV,” said Jerry Citarella, president of the SCV Youth Project Board. “This is an important fundraiser for us. I think it is the tastest fundraiser in the SCV.”

The SCV Youth Project assists at-risk youth with problems like substance use, violence, bullying, peer pressure, depression and suicide.

For information about the SCV Youth Project visit


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