‘People care’: Laclede woman creates cake auction to raise money for families affected by suicide
PRIEST RIVER, Idaho — Every year, suicide claims the lives of thousands of people and changes the lives of those they leave behind. As someone who’s come close to losing a loved one to suicide, Devin Fleck knows there’s so little others can do or say to ease that pain, but for the last six years, she’s set out to comfort those families in a unique way.
“It started six years ago… My son, Cyrus, when they were in 8th grade, it was literally the eve of their 8th grade graduation, his best friend C.J. tried, and very luckily unsuccessfully, to kill himself,” Fleck said. “They tell you to watch for certain signs. There were no signs.”
In the days that followed, Fleck knew she had to keep herself busy to cope with the tragedy, so she turned to baking. Soon after, baking cakes turned into an annual auction, now called Cakes for a Cause.
“You want to be abl
e to help somehow but without interfering with what the family’s going through,” she said. “You can’t say or do anything to ease that pain but to ease the burden of the other things that come along with it, that’s really important to us.”
Fleck said the auction has grown every year since its inception and is now the biggest it’s ever been. For the last five years, Fleck has baked all of the auction’s cakes herself. This year, she wanted to open it up to other bakers in North Idaho.
“I went on a couple of our local sites on Facebook and asked for anybody that was willing to donate a cake this year and within an hour had more cakes than I knew what to do with,” she laughed. “The most we’ve ever received was $500 which was just blows me away, with what people are putting into this.”
She told 4 News Now all proceeds go to local families who have recently lost a loved one to suicide. The money is intended to help cover funeral costs, counseling, and any other needs the family needs to address as they grieve. Any money left over, she said, goes to suicide prevention and awareness programs in local schools.
“It’s been Sandpoint, Priest River, Lakeland, unfortunately in these last few years, have been hit really hard within teen suicide. Then in these last two years, we’re seeing it in the adult community as well,” she said. “People care. When you get this many people banding together to help on something, there’s no denying that people want to help you and care about you.”
Fleck said there will be three or four cakes auctioned off every day until the auction ends March 8. To bid on a cake and donate to Fleck’s cause, click here.
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