Charity cake magic by Unity cake creator

UNITY — It’s no secret in Unity that Markie Winterhalt has a talent in cake art. Winterhalt has been a hobbyist cake creator for about three years and recently had the opportunity to give back to a family through the charity Icing Smiles.

Bakers from around the country apply to volunteer to be a “Sugar Angel” for the Icing Smiles charity. When Icing Smiles receives a request for a cake, they search their database of bakers and contact someone near the requesting family.

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Icing Smiles is a non-profit organization that provides custom celebration cakes and other treats to families impacted by the critical illness of a child. They understand the simple things, like a birthday cake, are luxuries to a family battling illness. Their goal is to create a custom cake for the ill child, or their sibling, that provides a temporary escape from worry and creates a positive memory during a difficult time.

Winterhalt applied for this opportunity about two years ago and this spring received her first call to action. She was contacted by Icing Smiles Canada to create a cake for a four-year-old girl who has a sibling with a critical illness.

Winterhalt made 100 per cent of the cake and agreed to meet the family halfway to deliver her cake creation, as part of her commitment to this charitable cause. All of her time, product and delivery were given straight to the family in need.

Icing Smiles offers two types of cakes for families: “dream” cakes and “fun” cakes. Dream cakes are tiered, three-dimensional or carved. They require significant labour, and each child is currently allowed one under the program. Fun cakes do not have those elements and can be used by the family for other events.

The family had requested a dream cake. The family is allowed to pick the theme, colour, flavour and up to a total serving amount of 40 servings. Ultimately the design details are up to the baker.

The little girl chose Frozen, with blue and white colours, as the theme.

Winterhalt said the cake creation took approximately four hours of baking, decorating and creation time plus the two-hour round trip to deliver it.

 “I heard about their sister charity Icing Smiles in the USA, which is quite a large, popular organization that started in 2010,” she said.

Icing Smiles Canada started in October 2012.

When asked what her favourite cake creation has been, Winterhalt replied, “It is so hard for me to pick a favourite cake creation as they are always so different. I like to be challenged and learn new techniques. I am forever trying to teach myself new things. My favourite part though is seeing the recipient’s face as they see and receive their cake. Kids are the greatest.”

While being extremely modest about her talent and her big heart , those who know her feel the smile on the recipient would have been nearly as wide on Winterhalt herself, knowing she played a part in creating a positive memory for someone in need.

You can find out more details on the charity by visiting their website at www.icingsmiles.ca.

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