Cake auction raises dough for school gardens

By JEAN L. McCORKLE jkaess@daily-review.com

The That Just Takes the Cake social benefitting area American Heart Association Teaching Gardens raised slightly over $25,000, according to committee member Gwen Luc.
The cocktail event — a raffle, steak dinner, live cake auction and dancing — was held at Nico Bella in Morgan City Friday.
Luc said the raffle raised $3,600 and sponsorships brought in $12,500.
There were 16 cakes auctioned ranging between $200 and $1,400. The cake auction raised a total of $9,250, Luc said.
Money raised through That Just Takes the Cake benefits the community through the implementation of teaching gardens, part of an education initiative to help build healthy bodies and minds. All money raised stays in St. Mary Parish, according to Laura Broussard, regional director for the American Heart Association.
The previous two schools to benefit, Bayou Vista and Hattie Watts elementaries, received everything they needed to create the teaching garden and maintain it for two years. Luc said the next school to receive a Teaching Garden will be announced at a later date.
The program, used in conjunction with the garden, combines nutrition education with garden-based learning. Students learn how to plant seeds, nurture growing plants, harvest produce and understand the value of good eating habits, Broussard said.
She said the gardens are important because, for the first time, parents are expected to outlive their children because of obesity.
American Heart Association-funded research leads to many important discoveries such as CPR, life extending drugs and surgical procedures that save thousands of lives each year.
The organization has funded more than 200 gardens across the country.
Broussard said the gardens give students “the option to look at those fruits and vegetables as an option that maybe they didn’t think about. They eat maybe a carrot or a squash and say ‘I’ve never had that before,’ and it’s shocking but it’s what we’re seeing across the country.”
American Heart Association Teaching Gardens are a national, school-based program associated with curriculums in math, science and English designed to reestablish what it means to be healthy. Aimed at elementary school students, the Teaching Garden program provides hands-on learning experiences rooted in offering nutritional choices.

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