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Taste for cake boosts scholarship funds


by Mary Helen Yarborough
Public Relations
Just shy of the cash she needed to buy six tickets, Marian Taylor bought two tickets in hopes of winning a delicious coconut cake during an annual fundraiser to reward a star College of Graduate Studies recruit.
Not satisfied with the six tickets one gets for $5, Taylor scurried back to her office and arranged a supplemental purchase of more tickets from student-serving-as-cake salesman, Adrian Nida.
Marian Taylor, center, defends her coconut cake from coworkers Deborah Jenkins and Charles Watts.
Taylor, the bone marrow and heart transplant financial coordinator, was busy working toward the 40-year anniversary of the transplant program and helping to collect more than 2,000 presents for needy children during the holidays.
Up to her ears in deadlines and charities of her own involvement, Taylor engaged the readiness of Charles Watts, liver transplant financial coordinator, to deliver her $5 to Nida for more cake tickets.
“I put my mojo on these tickets,” Watts admitted.
Meanwhile, office mate Deborah Jenkins was not entirely pleased.
“He gave her my tickets. I’m extremely jealous,” joked Jenkins, transplant coordinator, to which Watts responded, “I gave equal mojo to all of the tickets I got. And I don’t even like coconut cake.”
All were rewarded, however, when Taylor shared her gourmet cake, valued at $100, with her co-workers. She has some stashed in the freezer, she said, so she has some left for Easter.
The annual coconut cake project, which  took in $1,400 this year, has raised more than $4,000 since it started in 2004. That was when the son of Debra Shoemaker, student services program coordinator, presented her with a cake from his employer at Peninsula Grill. It was a hit then and continues to be a hit today.
The cake is a masterpiece of Peninsula Grill Chef Robert Carter, and vying for the prized cake continues to raise funds needed to attract top students to MUSC.
“We call it the Coconut Cake Scholarship Fund,” said Perry Halushka, M.D., Ph.D., College of Graduate Studies dean. “We use the proceeds raised from ticket sales to reward $1,000 to an outstanding student recruit. It’s like a signing bonus.”



Friday, Jan. 23, 2009

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