Earlier this year, in February, the Nevada Journal featured the story of a Colo woman who had been named state representative for an organization called "Icing Smiles."
Bonnie Alley, owner of Simply Delish, a bakery she operates out of her home, shared her excitement about being part of Icing Smiles, an organization that gives the gift of a beautifully baked and decorated cake to children who suffer serious illnesses and their siblings.
Six months later, Alley is excited to announce that Icing Smiles in Iowa is planning its first big fundraiser - the Icing Smiles Cake Chase: Sneakers, Sweets and Smiles. This inaugural 5K race will be held in Altoona on Saturday, Oct. 12.
"Even though Icing Smiles is completely a volunteer organization, there are many costs that still need to be paid - marketing, printing, etc. So fundraising plays a critical role," Alley said. "The Icing Smiles Cake Chase will not only help raise these funds, but it will help spread the word (about this organization) to the families in Iowa. It is a sweet service that we offer them, and our service comes at no charge."
Icing Smiles is a 100 percent volunteer organization, Alley explains, so all funds raised from the 5K will first cover the cost of making the race happen, and then will go directly to the Icing Smiles organization. Icing Smiles uses funds to help cover administrative costs, such as the cost of printing brochures, domain costs, postage and corporate filings.
In February, Alley talked about how new the organization was to Iowa. In the past six months, Alley said much time has been spent focusing on developing the organization’s partnerships. Icing Smiles has partnered with Children Cancer Connection, Center for Disabled Development and Faith, Family and Friends, and is in the process of partnering with 24 other organizations, such as Ronald McDonald, Blank Children’s Hospital and the University of Iowa. Partners like these are an essential part of helping Icing Smiles reach out to families that could benefit from the group’s service.
The other recent focus has been to increase the organization’s volunteer baker numbers. "As cake requests in Iowa increase, so does our need for volunteers," Alley said.
Altoona was chosen as the site of the first fundraiser, because of its central location in the state. "The Icing Smiles Cake Chase is an event for the entire state. We wanted our race to be centrally located to allow ease of access from the entire state. Altoona seemed to be the perfect location," she said, adding that the community of Altoona has been very warm and welcoming. "The race promises to be a fun time for all."
Those taking part are encouraged to come "dressed as their favorite treat," which should make the race more interesting and entertaining. The race is open to all ages of runners, walkers and even those who just want to pull up a lawn chair and watch the festivities. The race will start at the Altoona Aquatic Center, 1200 Venbury Dr., at 9 a.m. Sign up begins around 7:30 a.m.
Early registration is $25, and includes a T-shirt and gift bag. Race day registration is $30 and will include a T-shirt, if any are left.
For businesses and individuals who would like to help sponsor this event, there are many opportunities, from a low of $50 in the "vanilla tier" to $400 and higher in the "chocolate tier."
To find out more about participating or supporting this event, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Iowa has come a long way in such a short time," Alley said, "and we are just getting started. I am very excited for Iowa’s future with Icing Smiles."