For the love of cupcakes and making a difference, thousands of East Tennesseans flocked to downtown Knoxville on Sept. 22 to enjoy Child & Family Tennessee’s first annual Cupcakes in the Park.
“We sold all 1,400 of the tickets we had printed, and we believe at least 3,000 people walked through the event,” said Director of Resource Development & Grants Management Donna Morris.
Through event sponsorships, ticket and concessions sales and donations, the organization raised more than $17,000 in revenue for its Kent C. Withers Family Crisis Center, which serves domestic violence victims and their children.
During the event, the following 20 local bakeries competed for the People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice Awards: Magpies, the Cup, Gigi’s Cupcakes, Chez Liberty, Benefit Your Life, Cafe Four, Panache, House of Cakes, Lenny’s Catering, Southernly Sweet, Cakery Bakery, Pellissippi Culinary School, Mer Mer’s Bakery, KupKatie’s Kupcakes, The Bakery Lady, Scrumps Cupcakes, Sweetpie’s Bakery, Sugarbuzz Bakers, the Sweetery and Emma Lou Bakery.
Event goers were invited to purchase $5 tickets, and in exchange they received five mini cupcakes from the bakeries of their choice and one vote in the People’s Choice contest. Winning in this category were the following: 1st place – Sugarbuzz Bakers; 2nd place – Sweetpies; 3rd place – Chez Liberty.
A celebrity judges panel selected the following winners: 1st place – Gigi’s Cupcakes; 2nd place – Lenny’s Catering; 3rd place – Panache. The panel consisted of the following: Ice Bears Coach Mike Craigen, Red Hickey of WDVX, Tearsa Smith from WATE Channel 6, Darin’ Erin Donovan from WBIR Channel 10, Rose Kennedy from Metro Pulse and Heather Grubb formerly of TLC’s “Next Great Baker.” Star 102.1′s Marc Anthony and WVLT Channel 8′s Whitney Kent served as event emcees.
Additionally, there were amateur adults’ and children’s cupcake baking competitions. The winners of the adult competition include 1st place winner – Heather Donahue; 2nd place winner – Jennifer Combs; 3rd place winner – Vicky Denton. Children’s competition winners are as follows: 1st place – Alexa DeCarlo; 2nd place – Emily Robinson; 3rd place – Aubrie Tullock.
After satisfying their sweet tooth cravings, event goers were treated to live music by the Americana folk band the Songbirds, fun on the bouncehouse and other family friendly activities.
The event was sponsored by Morris Creative Group, Pilot, Stowers CAT, Kramer Rayson LLP Attorneys at Law, Scripps Networks Interactive, TIS, Trinity Benefit Advisors, UT Medical Center, The Knoxville Journal, The Knoxville News Sentinel, Star 102.1, Earthfare, Printedge, All Occasions Party Rentals and Sugarbakers.
“We would like to thank the sponsors, cupcake bakery competitors, volunteers and staff who all made this event possible,” Morris said. “Each of you truly take the cake.”
Plans for Cupcakes in the Park 2013 are in the works. Cupcake lovers can keep up-to-date by visiting www.cupcakesinthepark.com.
Visit www.child-family.org for more information on Child & Family Tennessee and the organization’s other events.
By Stephanie Edwards