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Cranes and cupcakes for Sacramento’s Bake Sale for Japan

Cafe Au Lait

Saturday, Cafe Au Lait will host Sacramento’s Bake Sale for Japan to raise money for victims of the recent earthquake and tsunami devastation in Japan.

The Bake Sale for Japan is a national bake sale held on April 2 at bakeries, restaurants and other places featuring baked goods.

Milena Pointer, who works as a nanny, and is one of the also an organizers for the Sacramento bake sale. Pointer viewed videos of the destruction in Japan and said she wanted to find a way to help.

“If it happened to us, if it happened to America, we would need help,” Pointer said. “Any person with a heart would feel like they like they need to do something. The difference is some people act on that feeling, and some don’t.”

She said she saw an ad for the Bake Sale for Japan event website and wanted to bring it to Sacramento.

Pointer contacted the Bake Sale for Japan and they connected her with Jill Wegrzyn, a UC Davis computational biologist, and writer Katey Nilan, who were also interested in the event. Wegrzyn found out about the cause through a friend, and Nilan heard about it while she was searching online for recipes.

Within two weeks, Pointer, Wegrzyn and Nilan organized the bake sale through many emails and phone calls. They divided up the tasks of recruiting bakeries, fliering and mass emailing friends to bake and help, Nilan said.

According to Pointer, other cities including Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco are all participating in the Bake Sale for Japan.

All proceeds from each Bake Sale for Japan event will be donated to Peace Winds, a non-governmental organization that provides relief for victims of natural disasters, Pointer said.

“I hope to (raise) at least $5,000,” Pointer said. She said she hopes to organize another bake sale for Peace Winds if the bake sale is a success. Pointer said she is playing with other fundraising ideas.

Wegrzyn said she hopes that the bake sale will attract hundreds of people. “If everybody does a little something, we can raise a lot of money for such a significant tragedy,” Wegrzyn said.

Eight businesses have donated items to the cause, including: Magpie Caterers Market and Cafe, Esther’s Cupcakes, Leatherby’s Family Creamery, Cookie Connection, Timothy’s Bakery of Woodland, Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates, Cafe Au Lait and Icing on the Cupcake.

Some of the donated treats that will be donated to the bake sale include Guinness-flavored cupcakes with berry frosting, cinnamon raisin scones, chocolate cupcakes and several vegan options.

Pointer will bake granola bars and chocolate chip cookies, Wegrzyn will bake 16 loaves of banana bread and Nilan will bake gourmet salted brown butter Rice Krispie treats and banana and peanut butter cupcakes for the fundraiser.

According to Wegrzyn, there will also be an origami crane-making station and she will be donating 600 pieces of origami paper. Nilan said that individual attendees will also contribute paper to make cranes. The goal is to send 1,000 paper cranes to Japan to make a wish come true, such as recovery or good health, Wegrzyn said.

The cranes will be sent to professional cook and freelance writer Samin Nosrat, who will then send all the cranes as a gift to Japan, Wegrzyn said.

Food and monetary donations will be accepted at the event.

“We need to do this,” Nilan said. “It’s good to show people that an event so small can do something big.”

Cafe Au Lait is located at 2107 P St.

For more information on the Bake Sale for Japan, click here. For inquiries about the Sacramento event, email sacramentobakesale@gmail.com or click here for their Facebook page.

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