Scholarship fundraiser is no piece of cake
Helping add more "fans" to the crowd on an Ohio Stadium cake (from left) are Maya Miles, 9, Layla Miles, 6, Dublin Scioto High School Junior Varsity Girls Basketball coach Tapre Young, Andrea Drews, 11, Ella Johnson, 11, Deb Papesh, and Maddy Mayr, 11. They were applying finishing touches during the preview party for the 23rd Annual Ohio Stadium Cake Thursday, Oct. 17. Money raised from the cake go to the OSU Stadium Cake Scholarship Fund. Buy This Photo
Ohio State University's most sugar-filled tradition knocked off its 23rd year Oct. 19 with 87 boxes of cake mix and 125 pounds of frosting.
The Ohio Stadium Cake was on display at the Ohio State University vs. Iowa football game and then sliced up for eating, all in the name of charity.
The tradition established by Dublin couple and OSU alumni Kim and Mark Tucker has raised more than $135,000 for OSU scholarships over the years. Seven scholarships were awarded this year.
"It really started out as a dare," said Chris Conrad, a cousin of Kim Tucker.
"Mark made Brutus cakes before and he (made a stadium cake) for the first time for a tailgate just to prove he could."
Dublin resident Deb Papesh got involved with the effort 15 years ago and added a sketch to the fundraiser 12 years ago.
"With a $10 donation to the scholarship fund, you receive a signed and numbered sketch," she said. "It's one more way to raise money."
This year's sketch featured Brutus Buckeye in front of the stadium.
The baking effort that began six days ahead of the Oct. 19 game was done through donations, Papesh said.
Kroger donates cake mix, Rubbermaid gives the group containers for baking and Yutzy's Farm Market donated food for the Oct. 19 tailgate that allows people to view the cake before it's eaten.
Several other businesses got involved, Papesh said, mainly through neighborhood connections or visits to see the cake during the OSU game.
Piece of Cake offers up its equipment to mix the 125 pounds of frosting required to decorate the stadium cake.
One of the Short North business' managers is a Dublin Scioto High School graduate and grew up watching her Riverside Green neighbors make the cake, Papesh said.
Even though it's a community effort, the confection is no cake walk.
Conrad, an OSU grad and Hilliard resident, has been part of the cake effort for several years.
"I officially started in 1992 during my freshman year at OSU," he said. "I liked to hang out and help out."
Baking started Sunday and the oven was on until Monday night, Conrad said. After that the cake is cut for the different sections of Ohio Stadium.
"It takes a day or a day and a half for each layer to be prepped for dotting," he said.
The rest of the week is spent building the cake and frosting it, with sugary grass and fans in each seat.
"I'm a graduate of OSU and I like giving back and trying to help students as much as possible," Conrad said.
After a week of work, the cake was deconstructed for postgame sugar rushes. Although no official piece count has been taken, Conrad estimated the cake could feed about 1,000.
"Towards the end, the pieces get bigger and bigger," he said, adding that none of the bakers want leftovers.
For more information about the annual stadium cake fundraiser and its scholarship, look online at OhioStadium Cake.com.
Confection requires 87 boxes of cake mix, 125 pounds of frosting