It was a buzz and flurry of activity amidst a sea of pink in the bakery area at the original MarketPlace Foods on Wednesday afternoon. The Project Pink Cake Auction took place at 4 p.m. as representatives from area businesses tried their hands at cake decorating. An auction followed at 4:30.
The Project Pink Cake Auction is a fundraiser for cancer awareness, said Nyla Stromberg, cake department manager at MarketPlace Foods. They invited businesses to come in to the store and decorate cakes and some businesses brought in extra materials to make their cakes look more fun, she added. The cakes were auctioned off after decorating with Darrell Sundsbak serving as the auctioneer, Stromberg said, and Peggy Kallias, one of the cake decorators for MarketPlace Foods, had made contact with area businesses and invited them to participate.
One-hundred percent of the proceeds from the cake auction and 100 percent of the donations made at check-out, as well as 10 percent of the proceeds from all of the pink baked goods were donated to the Trinity Health Cancer Exercise Rehabilitation Program.
Stromberg said roughly 30 to 35 businesses participated in the Project Pink Cake Auction. Some of the businesses that weren't able to participate donated funds toward the project to help increase the bidding on the cakes at the auction, she added. "It takes a lot of people to pull this together," Stromberg said. The whole team from the cake department helped with the Project Pink Cake Auction, she said, and the whole store had been really receptive to it.
The Project Pink Cake Auction has been taking place since the '90s, Stromberg said. They skipped two years due to the 2011 flood, she added, but felt like it was nice to bring back the event this year. Stromberg created the giant pink cake at the original MarketPlace Foods that served as the centerpiece at Wednesday's event. "It was inspiration from a convention I went to and has over 450 cupcakes on it."
New this year at the Project Pink Cake Auction were Project Pink cards to help fight the fight, Stromberg said. People could donate any amount of money in honor of or in memory of someone who had or continues to have cancer.
Also new at the cake auction was a pink fire truck from Bismarck, the North Dakota Chapter of Guardians of the Ribbon. Rides in the truck were offered to children who have experienced cancer and people could also sign it with black Sharpie pens as a way to remember loved ones lost to or fighting cancer.
Stromberg said the reason the Project Pink Cake Auction is held to make people aware of cancer so that they take care of themselves. "This brings a lot of good and bad memories," she added. "It's a happy and sad time, but well worth every minute of it."
The Project Pink Cake Auction raised $5,675 and the highest bid cake went for $475.