Many months ago, a client of ours who is also a close friend, placed an order for and purchased a Superbowl themed birthday cake - for herself. Her party would be on Superbowl Sunday and the cake, a surprise design that she would leave up to Rick. As with any cake, there is a certain amount of pressure because we want it to look great and exceed expectations. The pressure is high when the cake is for a friend, and even higher when the design is something ubiquitous or iconic, like a football helmet. If the shape is wrong, you fail. If the team logo doesn't look right, you fail. If you don't get the logo and the helmet shape right on a cake for a Superbowl party, you may as well pack your bags and close up shop before the angry football fans come knocking.
Rick decided to surprise our friend with a 2-sided football helmet cake - Baltimore Ravens on one half and the San Francisco 49'ers on the other half. In other words, he would make an already difficult design even harder with twice as many logos, different color schemes on each side, and both sides must meet seamlessly in the middle, including on the face mask. The face mask is the most difficult part of making a football helmet because it has to sit right on the cake to look like it is connected to the helmet and not just placed in front.
We were both extremely excited about the design and knew our friend would love it. Rick is always up for a good challenge! We imagined it would be a hit at the party and and a birthday she would never forget. Shortly before the party, our friend called and sounded super excited. She wanted to get our approval on an idea she had. What she said next touched both of our hearts...
Did I just hear what I think she said? She wants to DONATE her birthday cake to a local emergency shelter for teenagers, and have us deliver it so it could be gifted anonymously. She said she didn't want us to feel that we had to make her another birthday cake for her party or her request to make extra work for us. I felt tears well up when she was telling me how happy this would make her if we would do this. I said "Of course we will do it!" I told her how touched we were by her gesture. Since the cake was purchased - she wanted to support a small business - it would be her donation not ours, and she was free to do whatever she wanted with her cake. With her own birthday cake, she was supporting a local small business and the residents of a transition home who have faced many hardships, and wouldn't have the opportunity to enjoy a custom made cake. At that moment, I thought she was sent from the heavens, like an angel. An angel of the Superbowl, who would give up her birthday cake so others may enjoy it. It was an incredible gesture that we will never forget!
Rick and I were flying the following day on a trip, but all we could think of was how excited we were to deliver the cake to the shelter and see everyone's reaction! We were greeted by the host at the shelter who was very sweet and so thankful for the gift. We brought the cake inside and the group was ecstatic! Sometimes the best gifts are the ones given without any recognition. Our friend wasn't there, so they would never know who was responsible and we couldn't take photos to show her due to the privacy of the residents. It was up to Rick and I to convey to the group how much it meant to our friend to gift them with her cake. They were planning to watch the Superbowl anyway, but now they had a Supercool cake to look at in between touchdowns!
After the two-sided Superbowl helmet cake was delivered to the shelter, we drove with smiles on our faces, to our friend's party, and shared with her the experience of delivering the cake. We then all watched the game together and enjoyed a nice lunch. Instead of eating birthday cake, we indulged in chocolates, toffee and ice cream. It was a perfect day for all of us!