Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Supporting the Red Cross...One Cake at a Time

by James Knowles/American Red Cross

Every year Rheinlander Bakery in Arvada hosts a fundraiser to benefit the American Red Cross by selling King Cakes. The fundraiser, dubbed “Cakes for a Cause,” has raised more than $15,000 for the Red Cross. Through this annual fundraiser ad others like it, Rheinlander’s owners, Ed and Maro Dimmer, demonstrate a commitment to charity and community that exceeds their commitment to creating delicious, tasty treats, and even gluten, dairy, and sugar-free pastrnies and cakes.

Ed and Maro Dimmer at the Rheinlander Bakery, Arvada, Co.
Photo courtesy of Ed and Maro Dimmer
Maro Dimmer’s first experience with the Red Cross was as a refugee in her home country of Cyprus at age 15. Having lost everything, she credits the Red Cross for providing her family with comfort and care, including water, food, and clothing, while they were refugees in their own country. More than a decade later and nearly 7,000 miles to the west, while pursuing a doctorate at CU-Boulder, Maro met Ed Dimmer on Valentine’s Day. The couple was married, and Ed introduced Maro to his family’s bakery.

Ed’s parents, Jakob and Katharina, founded Rheinlander Bakery in Arvada in 1963 after emigrating to the U.S. from Germany. Ed began working in the bakery when he was just 9 years old, barely tall enough to see over the counter. Ed and Maro took over the bakery from his parents in 1986. Maro continued to pursue her degree at CU while working at the bakery. Eventually, Rheinlander became Maro’s passion and she switched her focus to the bakery full time.

Jakob Dimmer, original owner, at the Rheinlander Bakery
in Arvada, Co. Photo courtesy of Ed and Maro Dimmer
The first fundraiser that the Dimmers held for charity was in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The Dimmers chose to donate a percentage of sales from their King Cakes to the organization Rebuild East Mississippi in Meridian, a sister city to Arvada. The fundraiser garnered significant media attention to the point that Rheinlander received orders for King Cakes from all over the country. When Rebuild East Mississippi finished their work, Ed and Maro switched their King Cake fundraiser beneficiary to the American Red Cross. “Cakes for a Cause” was born, and the fundraiser persists today. A mission-driven bakery, Rheinlander also hosts fundraisers for the Arvada Community Food Bank, Ralston House, Susan G. Komen, CancerCare for Kids, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

When asked why they give back to their community, Ed replies, “It feels good to have some connection with your community…it’s good to be of service to people. In some way we’re still family, even if you don’t know the people.” Ed adds a quote from his wife’s oncologist’s office: “Do not pray for an easy life. Pray to be strong.” Maro, a cancer survivor, and Ed have been strong for themselves and for their community. Ed says, “Can we help people maintain their strength? Because sometimes it’s hard to be strong, when you’ve been beaten down…as long as you’re strong you’ll do fine…For most people, giving them the ability to be successful again in life can be as simple as assisting them a little bit when they really need it.” This is precisely what Ed and Maro have done and continue to do for the Red Cross and their community.  For that, we thank them.

As a special fundraiser in honor of Red Cross Month, Rheinlander is donating $1 to the Red Cross for every red velvet cupcake sold. Please visit the bakery at 5721 Old Wadsworth Blvd in Arvada to say hello to Maro and Ed and try a red velvet cupcake (gluten free available!) to support the American Red Cross and help us ensure that we can continue to be strong for those who are in need.

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