Sweet Blessings

Ashley Boyd Gann at work, Nov. 1, 2011.

They had a lot of tall orders and hard work ahead of them. And they weren’t going to make a dime making cakes for kids who don’t have many dimes to rub together.

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Sweet Blessings is a ministry that makes birthday cakes for kids who probably wouldn’t get a birthday cake were it not for Ashley Boyd Gann and her crew. Every week they gather in the basement kitchen of Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church with a list of kids who have been referred to them by schools, churches, social service agencies and others. They have a list of the child’s likes and interests and go to work making very special cakes.

“It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be special,” one of the cake artists told me while I was snapping photos for the church Tuesday morning.

But they are striving for some level of perfection in their meticulously crafted creations. The morning I visited, they were working on cakes with themes like bowling, iCarly, photography (!), and, of course, the Cats. While they dye fondant to get the right colors for most cakes – basketball orange is something of a big deal now – Ashley told me that they now buy fondant pre-dyed University of Kentucky blue because its such a common request.

It’s a neat idea that has attracted a lot of attention recently with stories on NBC Nightly News, WLEX News and in the Lexington Herald-Leader. As I was leaving Tuesday morning, WKYT’s Amber Philpott  was on her way in to film another feature.

That’s all cool. But after a couple hours, I got the feeling Ashley and her crew would be doing this even if the only people that heard about them were the lucky kids who got their cakes.

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