Following on successful events last year at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and here at Landstuhl, Blake Powers, creator of "Cooking with the Wounded", has geared up fundraising efforts for 2010 activities.
Cooks' goal to provide sweet comfort for wounded soldiers
By ERIC WEDDLE
Sticky German chocolate cake, plump devil's food cupcakes and a dozen or so pies.
Those are just some of the delectable goodies a local pastry chef wants to help whip up for soldiers wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq who are recuperating overseas.
Katy Gunderson, owner of Yellow Bowl Bakery in downtown Lafayette, is part of a program called Cooking with the Wounded that is run under the auspices of the nonprofit group Soldiers' Angels.
Cooking with the Wounded, in affiliation with Soldiers' Angels, is raising $15,000 to send Gunderson and others to a U.S. military facility in Germany to bake for recuperating soldiers.
Cooking with the Wounded is a program spearheaded by Gunderson and Blake Powers, a military support blogger and self-described "foodie."
Powers, a Tippecanoe County resident, works in the Office of Marketing and Media at Purdue University.
The money will go toward sending Gunderson, Powers and Yellow Bowl pastry chef Molly Greenwood to the United Service Organizations' Warrior Center at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany in late February.
"For me, I love my country. This helps me help them," Gunderson said of U.S. soldiers and allied armed forces fighting the war on terror. "I think it was best described by my father when he said, this is my own way of picking up a gun and fighting for my country."
Cooking with the Wounded also is about enriching the lives of soldiers. That includes helping veterans find cooking internships or educational opportunities that could lead to a food or beverage career.
"A hand up as opposed to a hand out," Powers said. "Get them into the field where they can learn and make them a success."
Right now the focus is on fundraising for these terrific events. If you'd like to donate, you can do so here. Just make sure to note "Cooking with the Wounded" with your donation, whether online or by check. An important part of fundraising is awareness, so you can help by spreading the word to your friends and local media - as well as to companies, as the program is offereing corporate sponsorships. A press release can be found here. Thanks for your support!