Buffalove Challenge: Week 3, Cake Walk

I think I started my log of Buffalove outings a week late, so this one is out of order. The Cake Walk Fundraiser for the Sisters of Charity Hospital NICU was actually the first community event we attended as part of our Buffalove Challenge. But here it is, for the record, holding place number three. Oops.

Sisters Hospital has come to hold a very dear place in our family’s hearts. They took such wonderful care of me and then of Hope during our 2.5 month combined hospital stays. When I heard some of the NICU staff talking about a fundraiser for the NICU back when Hope was still a resident there, I immediately wanted to attend or contribute somehow. I didn’t actually know what a cake walk was, though.

For those of you who, like me, aren’t familiar with this kind of event, here’s how it works: Cakes are donated, and while admission is free, attendees purchase as many tickets (the raffle kind) as they’d like to “spend” on food, drinks, and playing the cake walk game. The game is played in rounds. There are markers of some sort in a circle on the floor (in this case, 20 paper plates taped to the ground), music plays, and 20 people pay the designated number of tickets to participate for each round. The people take their places around the circle, the music starts, and the people walk. When the music stops, a number is drawn from a hat or some such container, and the person standing on that number gets to go choose a cake from the tables laden with donated sugary goodness.

I thought that to contribute to the cake table I would have to go out and recruit a bakery to donate goodies to the event, but I learned that anyone could donate a cake, at least for this event. So the night before the fundraiser, my mom and I (and Ella) baked two delicious carrot cakes (thank you MJ for giving me your recipe back at my bridal shower! It has been one of those wedding gifts that keeps on giving!). We took one cake to the fundraiser, and we kept and ate the other :o)

I wish I had taken a picture of our donated cake! I failed to plan well for the occasion, so we took our cake in an upside down Rubbermaid container (cake on the lid, container to cover it). After arriving, and well into the rounds of the cake walk, I realized I hadn’t even labeled our donation. To solve this conundrum, I dug a crayon out of the diaper bag (or was it a pen? I forget), wrote “Carrot cake with walnuts and cream cheese frosting” on a napkin, and placed it on top of the cake. I didn’t mention in my note that it was homemade; I think the classy container gave that away.

It was fun to see some of the nurses and other NICU staff again, especially outside the context of having to visit our baby in the hospital! And I loved having a way to give back to the NICU. It was an easy choice to attend their cake walk and invite our friends and family to join us. As shocking as it was to be initiated into the NICU community, it’s nice to be a part of something along with everybody else who didn’t want to be in the club. And the people who work in the NICU are just spectacular. Sometimes you get stuck with somebody because of a medical crisis, but I can confidently and gladly say that the staff in Sisters’ NICU make you feel like you wanted to meet them all along.

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