A fundraising event in March raised more than $5,000 for both child welfare agencies.
(May 3, 2023) Can cheesecake save the world? Ask Jennifer and Kane Geils, owners of Cheesecake Cutie & Café in Holmes Beach, and they’ll tell you it can certainly raise valuable funds for an important cause. The Geils are not only the owners of a popular business; since 2022, they’ve dedicated their homelife to serving as foster parents at All Star Children’s Foundation’s Sarasota campus. On March 21, the Geils hosted a fundraiser at their café—and raised more than $5,000 for All Star. The funds will also be shared with the Safe Children’s Coalition. More than 60 people attended the event and dozens of area businesses supported it, including West Coast Surf Shop, Boar’s Head, Zoom Around AMI, Kiwi Style Fish & Chips, Anna Maria Chamber of Commerce, Anna Maria Island Concierge Services, Diamond Quality Turf, Shore Thing Tiki Cruises, Pizza Social AMI, Top Sail Steamer, Salon Salon Holmes Beach, The Freckled Fin, and Holy Cow Ice cream.
The Geils became interested in serving as foster parents after a friend of theirs told them about what All Star was doing. It took several months before the Geils visited the campus. When they did, they were impressed.
“The work being done at All Star focuses on relationships with foster children, foster parents, and biological families to interrupt the cycle of abuse and neglect,” says Geils. “What inspired us was that children on the All Star campus receive trauma-informed treatment in a setting where they can thrive, where they can experience unconditional love and where the course of their lives will be forever changed. The work we do here also strengthens and builds supportive, safe, and healing relationships with their biological parents and other adults in their lives. That’s game changing.”
“There’s also a lot of effort focused on providing support and resources for All Star foster parents,” says Jennifer. “We knew that we’d have the full support of the All Star team when we committed to this—and that’s meant everything.”
Jennifer also admits that serving as a foster parent has been “the hardest job we’ve ever had. Just learning what these children have endured can break your heart. But for us, the reason we do this, is to be able to say we helped keep children safe and provided love when they most needed it.”
Stephen Fancher, All Star’s chief development officer, says he was touched by the Geils’ efforts to create this event. “It’s deeply meaningful that Jennifer and Kane already give of their time and talents to children on our campus. But for them to then also create a fundraising event to support agencies in the child welfare system? That’s above and beyond. We are incredibly grateful for their graciousness and generosity.”
All Star Children’s Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to interrupting the intergenerational cycle of abuse and neglect with children and families in foster care. All Star’s clinical team treats children and their families with trauma-informed, evidence-based therapies. Its five-acre Sarasota campus features six foster homes and a state-of-the-art clinical center. All Star also equips foster parents with training and skills to navigate the challenges of children who have been separated from their biological families. For more information, visit www.allstarchildren.org.