Although the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak led to the cancellation of Grandview Heights’ time-honored Cake Walk, the fun – and fundraising – will go on virtually.

Grandview Heights Schools band parent Dot Keil has set up a Facebook page to host activities, including a virtual Cake Walk that will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, April 3 – the same night the in-person event was to be held.

“Throughout its 70-year history, the Cake Walk has always served two dual purposes,” Keil said. “The primary goal is doing a fundraiser for the Grandview Heights band program.

“But there’s also a community purpose, and that’s simply to provide something that is fun and low-cost and offers an evening of entertainment for the community,” she said.

“Right now, in this crazy time, the fun is coming first,” she said.

Keil worked with the Band Parents Association board to put together a Facebook group called “Grandview Heights Bands Cake Walk 2020: Stay at Home Edition” that went online March 24.

As of March 26, 213 people had joined.

“We expect a lot more people will join up as we get closer to the April 3 Cake Walk date,” Keil said.

Activities offered through the Facebook page will be free, Keil said.

The virtual Cake Walk is scheduled to be livestreamed at 7 p.m. April 3 via the Facebook page, she said.

“We’ve been looking at the things we can’t do and the things we can do,” Keil said. “We can’t have a normal Cake Walk with everyone having to stay home, but this will hopefully be the next best thing.

“And you will be able to win some cakes, although we don’t yet know how many we’ll be giving away,” she said.

The virtual Cake Walk will involve drawings for cakes.

Residents who sign up for the virtual Cake Walk will have their names entered in the drawings that will take place April 3, Keil said.

“With the stay-at-home order in place, we won’t be delivering the cakes right away,” she said. “The winners will get a rain check and receive their cakes at a later date.”

A cake-decorating contest is always included as part of the annual Cake Walk, and the virtual edition will be no different, Keil said.

The categories include best decorated cakes (adult and student divisions), most creative and best stay-at-home theme, she said.

The winners will be announced during the April 3 livestream, Keil said.

Residents also will be able to go on a Cake Walk scavenger hunt, she said.

“We’re asking people to put pictures of cakes in their windows April 1 through April 8 and people can look for the cakes as they take walks around town,” Keil said. “Taking a walk is a good way to stay active during the stay-at-home order and a scavenger hunt is a fun activity parents can do with their children while they’re out for healthy walk.”

While all the virtual activities are free, residents can donate to the Band Parents Association through PayPal via the Facebook group page or at grandviewhtsband.org, she said.

The traditional Cake Walk normally raises between $6,000 and $7,000, said Melissa Cribbs, association president.

About 1,000 people attend the annual event, Keil said.

“The Cake Walk represents close to half of the fundraising dollars we bring in” annually, Cribbs said.

In addition to the Cake Walk, the band parents also raise funds through the annual decal sale held after students return from band camp, plus concession-stand profits, she said.

“We use the funds we raise to repair and replace instruments, subsidize band-camp costs and uniform replacement, repair and cleaning,” Cribbs said.

The association also helps pay the cost of licensing music the school bands play, Keil said.

“We don’t just support the high school band,” she said. “We’re supporting our entire band program, which begins in fifth and sixth grade and goes all the way through high school.”

For more information about the virtual Cake Walk, email 2020cakewalk@gmail.com.

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