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ROTARY CLUB NEWS Gray cakes make debut in Lake Placid

October 20, 2017
By SUSAN FRIEDMANN - Lake Placid Rotary Club , Lake Placid News

For the first time, a Depressed Cake Shop pop-up bake sale was featured at the Oct. 1 Essex County Suicide Prevention Coalitions's Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk at the Olympic Speedskating Oval in Lake Placid.

The Depressed Cake Shop is a worldwide movement designed to change conversations surrounding mental illness. The organization's tagline is "Where there is cake, there is hope, and there is always cake." A bake sale comprises cakes that are gray on the outside and bright and colorful on the inside. The purpose is to get people talking about depression in a unique way.

Spearheaded by Lake Placid Rotary member Amy Quinn, the bake sale raised $881 for suicide prevention in just three hours.

Article Photos

Cake from the bake sale
(Photo provided)

In a brief interview with Quinn, here's what she had to say about bringing the DCS concept to Lake Placid.

What attracted you to this project?

I first participated in the local Out of the Darkness Walk last fall. It was my passion for mental health issues, fueled by the work that I do as an attorney working for the New York state judicial system, and to honor the struggles of people near and dear to me.

How did you learn about Depressed Cake Shop?

In 2015, I co-produced and directed a stage show of mental health survivor stories for the national organization "This is My Brave" in Boston. I was introduced to a special woman, Val VanGalder, who flew in from Los Angeles to set up her DCS cakes outside our show. I tasted one of her gray cakes and instantly felt the love behind the movement.

What was it like to be a first-time DCS co-conspirator?

Even after seeing the DCS at my own event in 2015, it took becoming a co-conspirator to feel the full infectious effect of these pop-up bake sales.

I hope that many of the people who bought treats at the "Out of Darkness Walk" felt the comfort, hope and support behind DCS. The cakes also attracted the attention of sugar artists- both professionals and hobbyists-who were intrigued by the concept and eager to try their hand at their own sugary creations to endorse the concept.

Did you bake anything for the DCS?

I made several themed treats, including a four-layer rainbow-filled gray cake. Owing to my "beginner" cake-girl status, it tilted slightly by sale time. However, no one seemed to mind, and I'm proud that it was one of the first sales I made.

Is there a quote that inspires you?

I am constantly inspired by the words of others. This morning, I woke up to this quote on social media, shared by my sister: "Everything I see is either an act of love or a call for love." For me, that says it all. Every day, I aspire to responding to everything and everyone with love (and cake).

The Rotary Club of Lake Placid is part of a global network of 1.2 million people who come together to make positive, lasting change in communities locally, nationally and internationally. The Lake Placid Rotary Club meets every Thursday at 7:20 a.m. at the Marriott Courtyard. For more information, go to



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