Sunday, November 18, 1-4pm Fantasy Springs Special Events Center

By Lisa Morgan

Is there truly any better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than to sample decadent cupcakes, international coffee, wine and Champagne, in search of the valley’s best cupcake all the while raising money for an organization that feeds our valley’s hungry? I think not! Neither does Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio who will be presenting the Fantasy Cupcake Challenge on November 18 from 1-4 pm. All proceeds from the event will be benefitting Well in the Desert, our local organization that has provided daily nutritious meals, emergency food assistance, weekly supplemental food distribution, and access to community services to those affected by poverty, including the working poor, the homeless, seniors and the handicapped for more than 15 years.
The competition will include 12 professional chefs and bakers from top local restaurants as well as a group of folks who just like to bake for fun. Those mouthwatering morsels will be judged and cash prizes handed out to the winners. Celebrity judge, Casey Reinhardt, founder of Casey’s Cupcakes and the winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, Walk of Fame episode will be there to meet everyone at this family friendly event. The cost of admission will allow all in attendance to peruse aisles of cupcakes and tantalize their taste buds with cupcake samples from all of the participating bakers. Boutique vendors selling handmade items and unique gifts will be on hand, along with baking demonstrations, a silent auction and live music. Admission also includes complementary tastings of wine, champagne and international coffee.
Admission to the Fantasy Cupcake Challenge is $30 for adults $10 for children. If you bring three canned/packaged/non-perishable food items to the box office the day of the event, you will receive $5 off admission. Fantasy Springs is accepting entries for the amateur category online. For tickets, details and entry form, log on to
While you are enjoying this unique and tasty event you can have the added benefit of knowing your cost of admission will help supplement the organization Well in the Desert, founded by Dr. Wayne R. McKinney, known for operation “baby lift” in Vietnam, a true American Hero who through his efforts, saved hundreds of orphan children and fed countless hungry people. All of the proceeds will go to Well in the Desert’s client services. Arlene Rosenthal, president of this great organization states, “We don’t have a paid executive director or a huge payroll. We have four different houses that are low income where people learn to live communally. The staff there is paid with a small stipend and room and board. Our top paid administrator only receives $1500 a month. We are mostly a volunteer organization, so 90% of every dollar goes to client services due to the extremely low ratio of administrative costs.” Arlene, herself, is the unpaid executive director who believes, like the programs founder, that “when you give, you don’t ask for anything back.” Arlene and her Board of Directors work long hours, tireless in their efforts to keep The Coachella Valley’s people in need cared for. Their mission is to fuel programs for poverty prevention, direct services for poverty intervention, and organize efforts to advocate for the poor.

For a list of upcoming events benefiting Well in the Desert, information regarding opportunities to volunteer, or how to donate food, clothes or make a financial contribution, go to their website, Volunteers are always needed as are donations of food and clothing. The Well is located at 555 Commercial Road, Unit 10 in Palm Springs or call (760) 327-8577 for the schedule of their daily hot food program.


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