Darren Doyle, story:
Batter was spilled, icing was dropped, and food coloring got in places it shouldn't have, but a ton of fun was had today in Brownsville as three local teams made up of emergency personnel competed in the first ever Affordable Christmas Baking Challenge, "Sleighed It."
Most importantly, over $3200 was raised to help needy students in Edmonson County, all of which will go to the Affordable Christmas Program, facilitated by Edmonson County Family Resource-Youth Services Centers.
The event was a day-long challenge that started this morning at the EC Extension Office. The teams were made up of two people each; Team Fire was Lannie Deweese and Pete Tarantino--who represented Kyrock and Chalybeate Fire Departments (respectively), Team EMS, who was made up of Neal Meredith and Ashley Ritter, both of Edmonson EMS, and Team Police, made up of Trooper Daniel Priddy, KSP Public Affairs Officer and Jeremy Hodges, Brownsville Chief of Police.
Teams competed against each other to recreate a wonderful custom cake, baked by local baker Tiffany Coots. Teams could win in two different categories: Judge's Choice and by raising money for votes where one dollar equaled one vote.
The entire event was livestreamed on the Edmonson Voice Facebook Page and is now available at the end of this article. The teams faced several challenges along the way, like forgetting ingredients, melting icing, and cakes that...well, weren't so good; however, the teams laughed and joked, playfully harassed each other, but eventually worked together to raise money for local kids.
Team Fire was confident from the beginning with team member Lannie Deweese admitting no baking experience but declared they would win the contest. They won both the Judges' Choice as well as raising the most money for the challenge (over $1400). Judges for the event were PVA Kyle White, Daniel Bolton from Bank of Edmonson County, and Ryan Stice from Stice Insurance Agency. The judges were just as entertaining as the competitors.
Team EMS presented a delicious cake but the icing sagged some and they were slightly penalized for the appearance. Team Police--well, Team Police tried really hard. They played on the underdog role of the competition, admitting that they had no idea what they were doing. They, along with the other teams, were great sports throughout the entire event. Team Police also by far raised the most in toy donations for the event.
The event was coordinated by members of the FRCYSC, led by Sherrell Thompson, who organized most of the challenge.
"I'm not even going to lie--everyone was talking and I was sitting over there and I started crying," she said with a smile. "I love it when the community comes together. I started in the FRC about a year ago but I've bragged on these ladies in years past when I volunteered, but there's no harder working group for the community, and we have community partners that come in. EC really show out for each other--that's just the way it is. I couldn't have dreamed that could have went any better for the first year. I hope it's something we continue to do because I've really, really enjoyed it."
Alicia Edwards thanked everyone who voted, shared the info, or had anything to do with helping the event in any way.
"We could not do anything we do without our community, so, thank you," she said.
Affordable Christmas "Sleighed It" Baking Challenge: Starting with baking the cakes:
Affordable Christmas "Sleighed It" Baking Challenge: Gingerbread Tree Challenge:
Affordable Christmas "Sleighed It" Baking Challenge: Final decorating begins!
Affordable Christmas "Sleighed It" Baking Challenge: Final decorating and presenting to judges: Judges' Choice Award
Affordable Christmas "Sleighed It" Baking Challenge: The final winner announcements, closing remarks: