On March 11, nearly 30 Culinary Arts students from the Regional Career and Technical Center at Coventry High School baked, frosted, decorated and packaged 3,000 cupcakes for Rhode Island Hospital's 150th Anniversary celebration. Each employee of the hospital received either a chocolate or vanilla cupcake on Mar. 13 in commemoration of the event.
Rhode Island Hospital officials asked the Rhode Island American Culinary Federation to prepare the cupcakes, and in turn RIACF contacted the Career Center to have its Culinary Arts students lend a hand. Over the course of the school day, students teamed up to create the 3,000 baked goodies which were then frosted and garnished with "Happy Birthday" toppers.
Materials for the immense culinary undertaking were paid for by the hospital, but the Career Center provided the labor free-of-charge and utilized the experience as a learning opportunity.
"This community service activity integrated math and baking skills since students had to determine how many people it will take and how much time to bake all 3,000 cupcakes," said Career Center Director Lori Ferguson.
Crystal Violette and her Graphic Communications students also took part in the project by designing and printing cupcake flags adorned with a colorful bunch of balloons and the words "150 Years - Rhode Island Hospital", which were then individually mounted on bamboo sticks and placed atop each treat.
Culinary instructor Chef John Rapoza, CHS senior Ariel Chapdelaine and CHS alumna/Johnson & Wales senior Delainey Broggi, who is currently doing an internship with the Culinary Arts department, were overseeing the efforts at the Career Center's Knotty Oak Room on Tuesday morning, as students were preparing for the pickup and transportation of the cupcakes to RI Hospital.
"There were students from all Culinary classes working on this over the course of the day," explained Broggi. "We moved the kitchen around to form an assembly line which helped us complete everything faster."
"All of the culinary kids got involved in this project," said Chef Rapoza. "We even had freshmen holding pastry bags bigger than them while they were helping to frost the cupcakes."
Gina Perry, owner of The Sweet Shoppe in Barrington, arrived at the Center on Tuesday morning to help students load the dozens of large pastry boxes into her pink "Catch That Cupcake" truck and transport them to the hospital. As an extension of her Barrington shop, Perry travels across Rhode Island year-round in the truck, aptly named "Cupcake 1", selling a variety of cupcakes, cookies, whoopie pies and hot beverages at public events, private parties and the occasional corporate function.
Once delivered, the 3,000 cupcakes played a tasty part of the RIH celebration that included a ceremonial re-signing of RI Hospital's charter with Governor Lincoln Chafee and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras.
This was not the first community service activity performed by Regional Career and Technical Center students. In recent years, classes from various departments have prepared Thanksgiving meals for local families in need, hosted fundraisers at the Center's salon to benefit the American Heart Association, and during Carpentry classes, built a gazebo that was auctioned off to support The Tomorrow Fund and a "DAWG HAUS" for a FEMA outreach program, just to name a few.
Click here for more information about the Regional Career and Technical Center, or contact Director Lori Ferguson at 822-9499 ext. 283 or firstname.lastname@example.org.