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Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Bake-A-Wish receives grant from Grove Rotary Club

From left: Rotary treasurer Phil Everingham, secretary Bob Gombosh, president Richard W.  Martin II, Sloan Cole and Natasha Strump of Bake-A-Wish


The Rotary Club of Coconut Grove awarded a grant of $1,000 to Bake-A-Wish, an initiative of high school students that provides a birthday cake to children who might not otherwise receive one.

The check was presented by Rotary president Richard W. Martin II at a luncheon held at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club. “Our club is pleased to continue our support of this worthy effort. It is heartening to see young people with such a sense of purpose and dedication. They are truly making a difference in the lives of hundreds of children,” said Richard.

Bake-A-Wish was founded in 2011 by Kathy Pfleger, then a student at Random Everglades School, after a visit to the Miami Rescue Mission for a community service reading project. She wanted to do something special for the children and started baking birthday cakes for them.  Since then, Bake-A-Wish has grown from three girls baking 250 cakes a year to 15 girls baking more than 750 cakes a year. All aspects of this project -- contacting the facilities, keeping track of the birthdays, baking and delivering the cakes – are carried out by high school students. When Kathy left Miami for Columbia University, she passed the baton to Natasha Strump, now president of Bake-A-Wish.

“A birthday cake may seem like a small gesture, but it means so much to these children,” said Natasha. “We believe that every child should feel special on his or her, and a cake delivered with a smile and a hug makes a difference in the children’s lives. We plan to add a new program every year.” To assure that the program  continues when she leaves for college, Strump has named Sloan Cole as her successor.

At the present time, Bake-A-Wish serves children K-12 at St. Alban’s Child Enrichment Center, Elizabeth Virrick Park, Casa Valentina, Esther Armbrister Park as well as the Miami Rescue Mission and St. John Bosco Catholic Church School in Little Havana. 

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