What began as a dare between cousins in the early 1990s has grown into an endowed scholarship with Ohio State University and one really, really big cake.
If you don’t already know, we’re talking about the Ohio Stadium Cake.
Each year, a collection of diehard Buckeyes fans creates a 300-plus pound replica of Ohio Stadium in cake form. On the day of one home game each season, the group accepts donations for slices of the massive cake, and 100 percent of the money raised goes toward an endowed scholarship fund.
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“We’re not a registered non-profit, but we are an endowed scholarship through OSU. 100 percent of what we raise goes straight to the scholarship, and we’re entirely volunteer-based,” said Ohio Stadium Cake member Deb Papesh. “This year, we’ll be able to afford 15 $1,000 scholarships.”
Tomorrow, the group will be setting up shop at the home game against Indiana, which kicks off at noon. According to Papesh, the cake will be on display on the south lawn of the St. John arena starting at 9 a.m. The group will hold its regular tailgate in the Shoe parking lot. Slices will be distributed after the game, and donations will be accepted at this time as well.
Donations above $10 will receive a limited edition sketch of Ohio Stadium, all of which are individually numbered and signed.
And while November may seem a bit late in the year to hold the outdoor event, Papesh noted there’s a very good reason for this.
“We wait until the end of the season because we don’t want the frosting to melt,” she said with a laugh. “One year we decided to do it earlier, and the frosting actually started to melt.”
The cake, which Papesh said has grown in size since its original iteration in the 90s, is baked every year at the home of Kim Tucker, and typically stands over two feet tall. The group has been powered through the years by a number of sponsors, such as Kroger, which funded the cake-making supplies for a number of years, Borgata Pizza Cafe, which regularly feeds the Ohio Stadium Cake team, and many more.
You can donate to the scholarship online, or in-person at tomorrow’s game.
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