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PANDSI Cake Off: Canberra came, they saw and they got cake!

Christine Spicer

Saturday 13 May laid witness to the Hyatt Hotel Ballroom filled with 72 Canberra themed cakes.

ACTION buses, Mooseheads nightclub – complete with miniature figurines including someone who had overindulged, the Arboretum Pod Playground, Cockington Green, Telstra Tower, Summernats and Constable Kenny Koala were just a few of our local icons on display. PANDSI Cake Off, an annual fundraiser for PANDSI (Post and Anti-Natal Depression Support and Information) asked for Canberra’s support – and Canberra delivered.

PANDSI put the call out to locals to roll up their sleeves and bake a cake that represented Canberra to then donate so it could be sold via live or silent auction at PANDSI Cake Off. The love, time and dedication that the bakers put into their cakes were inspiring and heart-warming.

We had some stressed cake makers (and their drivers) arrive to deliver the cakes. We were extremely grateful to the Hyatt for hosting us, providing a stunning Hyatt cake for auction and to their chef who very kindly was on hand to fix a few of the cakes who’s structures were not as stable as was required.

There were so many great stories from PANDSI Cake Off, one of which we have Instagram to thank. Danika Bertoz made a The Green Shed cake. Danika shared her cake on Instagram and the image made its way to Lauren from The Green Shed’s Insta feed. The cake was such a stunning representation that Lauren immediately came to the Hyatt and placed $1000 down on the silent auction for the cake. A huge win for PANDSI and a well-deserved credit for the hard work Danika put into her cake.

Peking Duk

Peking Duk

The Remembrance Wall at the Australian War Memorial had the fallen soldiers’ names handwritten on the cake, so detailed and meaningful emotion swelled when looking at it. Through silent auction the cake was won through the PANDSI Cake Off App by an attendee who had bought it for her brother, who works at the Australian War Memorial. It’s rewarding to know that there is no doubt this cake went to a home where it will truly be appreciated.

Hummer the 92cm giraffe from the National Zoo made his journey to PANDSI Cake Off in a car with a special ‘slow driver – cake on board’ sign. Hummer was our tallest and one of the cutest cakes on show – eyelashes and all! So tall, that the baker and blogger from Scrumdiddlyumptious offered to drive Hummer to his new home if the person who won him at auction didn’t have a car that could fit him!

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The Skywhale in cake was another masterpiece that took Linda from SomeoneSayCake? 20 hours to create. Skywhale has gone to a loving home, where it won’t be eaten, but rather lacquered to try to maintain her as a stunning talking point in her new home!

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The Carillon played the chimes, Telstra Tower had a light up beckon, Manuka Oval had working lights, Mt Majura rotated at the top and the Peking Duk cake had a moving turntable. Most of the cakes didn’t look like cakes, and I can’t wait for the PANDSI Cake Off which will be released in November featuring every cake from the event so I can relive the stunning cakes again!

PANDSI Cake Off was so successful because of the people who volunteered their time to make it happen. From the bakers who worked for countless hours on their creations, to the volunteers who gave up their Saturday as a cake runner, ticket checker, cake attendee, app help or cashier. Scott Boon created the App for the event, Lish Fejer was an excellent MC and Jeremy Maher from Harcourts Brindabella live auctioned our professional cakes. Jeremy has also offered PANDSI $1000 if someone is selling or buying through Harcourts Brindabella and mentions PANDSI – a much easier (but less delicious) way for you to support your local charity PANDSI.

The PANDSI Cake Off Crew, those who pulled the event together consisted of Ann Landrigan (who’s also PANDSI’s Vice President), Megan Boon and myself. We lost count of the number of volunteer hours the event took to create. This combined with our families, kids, paid work and life’s general curve balls that get thrown at you has resulted in a very busy time for us all. Thank you team, you have done PANDSI proud.

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PANDSI Cake Off 2017 has raised nearly $30,000 for PANDSI. This is a joint effort of a lot of our bakers raising their own funds for their cake, business sponsorship of a few of our cakes from Bonsella Business Solutions, EY, Canberra Dental (yes, a dentist sponsored a cake!) and MEJ Solicitors and Barristers, combined with the ticket and apron sales and the sale of the cakes at the event.

The opportunity is available for businesses to sponsor PANDSI Cake Off. Their logo will be associated with a cake of their choice in the PANDSI Cake Off book – a way to align your business with PANDSI Cake Off and leave an ongoing legacy highlighting your business support of PANDSI in homes across the capital.

The ACT Government pledged $25,000 in donation matching for PANDSI Cake Off ($100,000 over four years). We’re delighted that we were able to meet this fundraising target. Although some of this fundraising revenue will go towards an increase in rent due to the need for the PANDSI office to move, the large amount we were able to raise ensures PANDSI can run more dad’s info sessions, look at what new programs we can deliver that will help our community the most and how we can streamline our data collection to make sure we continue to offer evidence-based services that result in a positive outcome for those we support.

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In the future consideration will be given to how we can create PANDSI Cake Off without relying solely on volunteers. Unfortunately, this will bite into our fundraising efforts, but we’ll be going out for quotes to deliver PANDSI Cake Off so we can weigh up all possibilities. If you know of a business who would like to quote or have an idea for a cake theme for 2018 then please comment below!

View more photos from PANDSI Cake Off through PANDSI Cake Off on facebook and pandsi_cakeoff on Instagram.

All images supplied

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Christine Spicer

Christine Spicer is the President of PANDSI, mother of two and step-mum to more. Her volunteer role at PANDSI had led her to organising the PANDSI Cake-Off and working hard to reduce the stigma around perinatal depression and anxiety. She lives with her husband and kids in Weston Creek.

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