NAELA Foundation Cake Challenge
Contestant #1 Jennifer VanderVeen
 
This IS the Droid You’re Looking For!
When we were first told we could pick whatever we wanted for this contest, I picked my favorite Star Wars character- R2D2. Did you know that R2 has the foulest mouth in the galaxy? They have to beep out everything he says! And, if there were a video of me making this cake, it would also require a lot of bleeping!!

I have absolutely no kitchen skills, so I took an online cake baking and decorating class to get prepared. But, when it came to actually making the cake for the contest, I deferred to my husband Jay. I have a very good reason why I didn’t bake the cakes. I would like to stay married. I have a history of making some epic messes in the kitchen and Jay likes a neat kitchen. So, he made the cakes and the buttercream, the kitchen stayed relatively clean and I’m not sleeping on the couch. However, once the cakes were out of the oven and the buttercream was whipped- I did everything else.
Contestant #2 Letha Sgritta McDowell
 
“Hang 10” with Letha McDowell
As you may (or may not) know, I live in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. My cake was inspired by the beach and surf lifestyle that I absolutely love when I’m not working. Surf boards and bathing suits and beach toys are all brightly colored to stand out on the sand so I chose bright board colors and of course blue waves which are necessary for surf!

Pictured is my son Liam who loves to surf. I do too but I’m not as good as he is. We went to Costa Rica in January so we could all surf over the Christmas vacation and we are heading to Hawaii on Christmas Eve this year and hope to surf there as well. Liam doesn’t know that we’re going yet. While I hope you vote for my cake, please don’t tell him about Hawaii - it’s a surprise for him for Christmas!
Contestant #3 Carol Wessels
 
Blank Slate
This cake is an homage to The Beatles’ White Album.

The cake is displayed on my mother’s cake plate. The inside is chocolate, from a box mix, with Door County Cherries and a layer of almond paste.

The serene beauty of this master work has nothing to do with the fact that I just basically wasted most of Sunday doing other things instead of making the Yule Log that this was supposed to be.
Contestant #4 Wendy Shparago Cappelletto
 
Celebrating the Beauty of Fall
While I enjoy baking, cake decorating has not been my thing due to my lack of artistic skills. After trying my hand at working with fondant and modeling chocolate, my respect for professional cake decorators has only increased.

My cake was inspired by the natural beauty of fall that we are witnessing in the Midwest. As we are now in the fourth season since the start of the pandemic, just taking a walk or a drive on a sunny autumn day with all of the lovely fall colors can be extremely uplifting during a difficult time.
Contestant #5 Judy Flynn
 
The NAELA Foundation Great Cake Challenge Fundraiser is HUGE…
It’s really beautiful ... terrific really … the BEST fundraiser of all time. Nobody has had a better, more beautiful fundraiser in the history of the world. It’s hugely terrific!
So please vote and support the NAELA Foundation!

If this was about pride, or baking abilities, I would not have bothered. But it is not. Well, some may have entered for those reasons, but, clearly, not me. To me, it is about raising funds for the great work the NAELA Foundation supports -- to fight bad laws and decisions and support good ones; to advocate for the rights of our clients across the country; to support the NAELA membership and Chapters in their advocacy. This caricature-like Trump cake was inspired by what I have been surrounded by for months and an attempt to find humor in an otherwise stressful time.

Please vote to support this effort and please support the NAELA Foundation!
Contestant #6 Vincent and Susan Russo and Eric and Elizabeth Einhart
 
Our Family Rises to the Occasion
Our Theresa Cake was inspired by the Annual NAELA Theresa Award, which honors a NAELA attorney in recognition for his or her advocacy for people with special needs. We (Lizzy) made the cake for the contest from scratch.

Established in 1992, the Theresa Foundation grants funds for arts, music, dance, and recreational programs to help children with special needs attain the highest level of educational, artistic, emotional, physical, and intellectual achievement possible. The Theresa Foundation was created by NAELA member and Foundation Trustee Vincent J. Russo, CELA, CAP, and his wife, Susan, in honor of their daughter, Theresa, who was born severely disabled and passed away when she was just five and a half years old.
Contestant #7 The Wacht Family
 
Fishing for Votes
If cakes are amazing and penguins are supreme, then our cake is supremely amazing. Math.