The Ohio Stadium Cake
Press Clippings
2002-2003

Dublin Villager
Thursday, October 31, 2002

Ohio Stadium Cake to be on display Nov. 2

The 12th annual Ohio Stadium Cake will make its appearance prior to the Ohio State vs. Minnesota football game on Nov. 2. The cake will be on display beginning at approximately 8 a.m. on the south lawn of St. John Arena. Pieces will go on sale immediately following the game. All money raised will go toward the Stadium Cake Scholarship Fund, which gives scholarships to academically qualified and needy OSU students.

The cake is baked and put together in the Dublin home of Kim and Mark Tucker.

They annually turn their Rockland Court home into a confectionery as they-and about 15 friends and relatives-stir, pour, bake, cut and stack 81, 12 by 18 inch cakes into the shape of the football stadium at The Ohio State University.

Assisting with the monumental task are Morra Lee Holzapfel, Beth Tucker, Christopher Conrad, and Brian and Deb Papesh.

The Logan Daily News
Saturday, November 2, 2002

Ohio Stadium Cake becomes a piece of tradition for tailgaters
Answer to Challenge turns into philanthropic endeavor

By Janey Saving

The 12th annual Ohio Stadium Cake will be previewed at the Ohio State-Minnesota football game today. Tailgaters, Buckeye fans and guests who want to sample a slice of the stadium cake should not that the stadium cake crew was forced to move to the south lawn of St. John Arena.

"Please look for our new location on Woody Hayes Drive" said Mark Tucker, 1979 Logan High School and 1983 and 86 Ohio State University graduate. "We hope to remain at this site for many years to come."

The baking and decorating of the first stadium cake quickly became a family affair with a group of LHS and OSU grads responsible for baking and designing the first stadium cake in 1991.

Mark Tucker, his wife, Kim Cottrill Tucker, his sister, Beth Tucker and his cousin, MorraLee Holzapfel, began the tradition. The stadium crew has grown to include Christopher Conrad, JoEllen Conrad, Brian Papesh and Deb Papesh. Christopher Conrad also is an LHS and OSU graduate.

The original Stadium Cake was devised as a light-hearted way of celebrating the great tradition of Ohio State football. In the fall of 1991, a group of five dedicated Buckeye alumni constructed the first replica of the Horseshoe during the week of the Ohio State-Iowa game for display at their pregame tailgate party in the north lot of St. John Arena.

Perhaps the most often asked question is why? According to Mark Tucker, one of their tailgating friends said that it couldn't be done. "So we accepted the challenge because that was the wrong thing to say to people who worship poisonous nuts," he laughed.

The crew considered the initial creation a confectionery masterpiece, but like all artists, the bakes and designers realized there was room for improvement. The second annual cake was displayed prior to the 1992 Ohio State-Michigan game.

Since then, the 200-plus pound cake has been constructed for display at the creator's tailgate party before and during one home football game each year.

By its third year, the annual cake had become such a hit with Ohio State fans that the cake crew decided to take advantage of the popularity to raise funds for Ohio State's general need-based academic scholarship, the Scarlet and Gray Scholarship Fund. From the third through eighth year, the confectionery masterpiece was served following the game for donations to that fund.

In 1999, the stadium cake crew established the Stadium Cake Scholarship Fund within OSU's general need based academic scholarship fund. Loyal Buckeye fans donated $2,120 in 1999; $3,321 in 2000 and surpassed that mark in 2001 when $4,482 was collected from donors and deposited in the new fund. The crew hopes to eventually raise enough money to endow the Stadium Cake Scholarship as a permanent means of financially assisting worth Buckeye students.

All ingredients and labor for the cake are donated by local businesses and members of the community, allowing 100 percent of all donations to go directly to the scholarship fund.

With the stadium renovations that began in 1999, the cake underwent extensive renovations in 2000, making the 10th annual cake substantially larger than the past nine. This required the redesign and new platform for the cake. Consistent with renovations to the "Shoe," the engineers lowered the field and expanded seating in all of "A" deck and "C" deck on the west side of the stadium. It also was necessary to redesign the scoreboard and south stands.

In 2001, the 11th cake boasted the renovations completed at Ohio Stadium, including the expanded C-deck on the west side of the stadium, luxury suites and the new and improved press box area. Last year, the cake consisted of 84 cake mixes, 252 eggs, 1 ½ gallons of vegetable oil, 126 pounds of powdered sugar, 21 pounds of shortening, 1 ½ gallons of milk, 24 ounces of vanilla extract and 174- man hours.

The 12th annual Ohio Stadium cake promises to be equally impressive as its previous counterparts. According to Mark Tucker, cows will be used to represent the Golden Gopher cheerleaders and gopher mounds will be scattered across the field, in anticipation big Buckeyes victory.

Tucker said the crew is considering putting an OSU uniform on Minnesota football coach Glen Mason, who is a former OSU assistant coach and player. They also plan to have Chris Gamble scrambling across the field in all directions and feature Maurice Clarett.

The crew plans to complete its creation by declaring a score of 38-6 in favor of the Buckeyes on the scoreboard portion of the cake.

For the past four years, the original artwork for the Ohio Stadium Cake invitation was created by Deb Papesh, Columbus artist and member of the cake crew.

The fourth sketch features Ohio's best damn band in the land performing "Script Ohio" during halftime.

A limited number of signed sketches are available to purchase with all proceeds donated to the Stadium Cake Scholarship Fund. Each print will be numbered and signed by the artist. The sketches may be ordered by sending $12 ($10 for the print and $2 to cover the cost of postage and handling) to: Ohio Stadium Cake, 3307 Rockland Court, Dublin, Ohio, 43017. Make checks payable to The Ohio State University and write "Stadium Cake Scholarship" on the memo line of the check. Regardless of the number of prints ordered, the $2 shipping fee will cover the cost of pasting and handling for each customer who places an order.

Tucker said that a few sketches of the second and third annual Stadium Cake are still available. The second sketch features an exterior view of Ohio Stadium and the third sketch depicts the north entrance to Ohio Stadium with the Jesse Owens Memorial featured in the foreground.

When placing an order, indicate the sketch that is desired.

Although the Stadium Cake makes its appearance only once a year, donations to the Stadium Cake Scholarship Fund are accepted throughout the year. Checks should be made payable to The Ohio State University and mailed to the Dublin address.

Buckeye Sports Bulletin
Saturday, November 9, 2002

The UCLA Daily Bruin
Monday, May 19, 2003

For dedicated Midwesterners, fandom is a piece of cake
By Elizabeth Newman

Think twice about cheering for the return of the NFL to Los Angeles.

Besides the thought of having a team named the L.A. Vikings – or even worse, the L.A. Chargers – the arrival of another team will spread a city full of sports fans with wavering loyalties even thinner.

I'm not saying this city doesn't have devoted fans, but when one wants to cheer, there are so many choices in Southern California. It's hard to find a fan who doesn't have to split his or her time between the teams that call SoCal home.

The fervor of fans elsewhere – namely, places such as the Midwest – takes the cake, so to speak.

The pride and devotion Midwestern fans show for their teams rivals some parent-child relationships. When my mother returned to her hometown in Iowa last fall for the Iowa-Iowa State rivalry game, an unexpected five-point loss for the Hawkeyes made her composure on the phone sound more like she was visiting a funeral rather than a reunion.

As for my grandfather, it might as well have been a national holiday when the Packers played. It's got to take a lot of guts to wear a block of cheese on your head or brave sub-zero temperatures to see your boys play ball. I guess you could say he was a gutsy guy.

But despite the claims from the sophisticated L.A. crew that volunteering to shovel snow off your team's home field is simply preposterous and lacking in any common sense, Midwestern fans are using their passions for a cause.

Take note, Bruin boosters.

A small group of Ohio State fans started a competition in 1991 to pay homage to their home field, nicknamed the Horseshoe, that surpasses the call of fan duty.

I would like to see this kind of absurd devotion even remotely challenged by collegiate football fans in our neck of the woods.

They build a cake modeled after the stadium.

It all started during a tailgate party, probably over a 12-pack or so of Busch, when one Buckeye claimed such a feat couldn't be done. Apparently Ohio (not Missouri) should have been nicknamed the "Show-Me State" because the challenge was on.

The soon-to-be-assembled "Cake Crew" (yes there is such a group, but acceptance rates into the prestigious club are quite low) fervently took the dare and created the annual Ohio State Stadium Cake, now in its 12th year. But this is not your average Betty Crocker two-tier chocolate variety with some red and white sprinkles on top.

This is a construction project unto itself: last fall, local businesses donated 84 cake mixes, 252 eggs, 1.5 gallons of vegetable oil, 126 pounds of powdered sugar, 21 pounds of shortening, 1.5 gallons of milk and 24 ounces of vanilla extract for a project that took 174 hours to create. The replica is complete with fans in the bleachers, luxury boxes with their occupants, players, a scoreboard and every structural aspect found on the building itself.

Call them crazy, but there's a point to the Cake Crew's endeavors: last fall, over $9,037 was raised by corporate donations and by selling slices of the masterpiece, all of which are donated to the Stadium Cake Scholarship fund at Ohio State.

Imagine being able to say your education was financed by the sale of football fans' confectionary imagination.

Regardless of whether or not Los Angeles adds another team to its roster, fans (especially those of the Bruin variety) should take a look around the country before claiming hard-core status.

Show me a cake and then I'll believe you.

The Hartford (Conn.) Courant
Thursday, August 28, 2003

Bone Up, Huskies Fans
By Ken Davis

* * *

    Ohio State fans are known for their Ohio Stadium Cake. Since 1991, a group of Buckeyes alumni have constructed 200-pound cake replicas of The Horseshoe stadium in Columbus. Last year the cake raised $9,037 for the Stadium Cake Scholarship Fund within the general academic scholarship fund.

* * *

Reprinted in The Baltimore (Md.) Sun

The Logan Daily News
Thursday, November 6, 2003

13th annual OSU Stadium Cake to be served Saturday

The 13th annual Ohio Stadium Cake will make its debut at the OSU and Michigan State football game Saturday. THe cake is baked and designed annually by a group of Ohio State football fans including Beth Tucker, Mark Tucker, Kim Tucker, MorraLee Holzapfel and Chris Conrad, all graduates of Logan High School, as well as JoEllen Conrad, Brian Papesh and Deb Papesh.

The 13th annual Ohio Stadium cake will be displayed in the south lawn of St. John Arena. Fans and spectators may enjoy a slice of the delicious desert by making a contribution to the Stadium Cake Scholarship fund which has collected $22,427 to date.

The Stadium Cake was devised in 1991 as a light-hearted means of celebrating the great tradition of Ohio State football. In the fall of 1991, a group of five dedicated Buckeye alumni constructed the first replica of the Horseshoe during the week of the Ohio State vs. Iowa football game for display at their pre-game tailgate party in the north lot of St. John Arena.

Perhaps our readers may be wondering why a group of OSU fans would take on such an endeavor. "Because one of those tailgaters said that it couldn't be done. That was the wrong thing to say to people who worship poisonous nuts!" said Beth Tucker, member of the Stadium Cake baking and designing crew.

Although they considered their creation a confectionary masterpiece, like all great artists, the bakers immediately began contemplating improvements. Their ideas and the drive for perfection gave rise to the new and improved second annual Ohio Stadium Cake, which was previewed before the 1992 Ohio State vs. Michigan game. Since then the more than 200 pound cake has been constructed for display at the creators' tailgate party before and during one home football game each season.

What extra highlights will be included on the cake this year? Perhaps the designers will focus on the fact that the Buckeyes are the reigning national football champs and no doubt Tostitos tortilla chips will be featured on the design, as well as the fact that Ohio State beat Miami in two overtimes to claim 2002 national championship honors. The designers will also incorporate Michigan State Spartans into the cakes' design.

By its third year, the annual cake had become such a big hit with Ohio State fans that the cake crew decided to take advantage of the cake's popularity to raise funds for Ohio State's general need-based academic scholarship, the Scarlet and Gray Scholarship Fund.

From the third through the eighth year, the confectionary masterpiece was served following the football game for donations to that fund.

In 1999, the Stadium cake crew established the Stadium Cake Scholarship Fund within OSU's general need-based academic scholarship fund, with loyal Buckeye fans donating $2,120 that year. In addition $3,321 was contributed in 2000, while donors gave $4,482 in 2001 and in 2002 the figure nearly doubled with $9,037 collected in 2002 which was deposited in the new scholarship fund.

The Stadium Cake crew hopes to eventually raise enough money to endow the Stadium Cake Scholarship as a permanent means of financially assisting worthy Buckeye students.

In order to raise additional funds for the scholarship fund, for the past five years, Deb Papesh, member of the Stadium Cake crew has designed special sketches of OSU scenes that are available to purchase.

This year's artwork depicts a view of the "shoe" from the south looking northeast.

In addition to appearing on the cover of the 13th annual Stadium Cake invitation, 200 limited edition prints of this year's sketch are available for $10 each, with all proceeds donated to the Stadium Cake Scholarship fund. Each print is signed and numbered by the artist.

To place an order, send $12 check ($10 for the print and $2 for shipping and handling) to: Ohio Stadium Cake, 3307 Rockland Court, Dublin, Ohio 43017. Please make checks payable to "Ohio State University" and write "Stadium Cake Scholarship" on the memo line of the check. The $2 fee for shipping and handling will cover the cost regardless of the number of prints ordered.

For serious collectors of OSU memorabilia, a few of the last three years prints are still available for the same price. Please indicate with a note which prints your are requesting to purchase.

The construction of the Ohio Stadium Cake is a long process. With the stadium renovations that began in 1999, the cake underwent extensive changes in 2000, making the tenth annual cake substantially larger than the past nine. This required the redesign and construction of a new platform for the cake. Consistent with renovations to the "Shoe" the engineers lowered the field and expanded seating in all of "A" deck and "C" deck on the east side of the stadium. They also redesigned the scoreboard and south stands. In 2000, the cake consisted of 81 cake mixes, 243 eggs, one and half gallons of vegetable oil, 124 pounds o powdered sugar, 21 pounds of shortening, one and half gallons of milk, 24 ounces of vanilla extract and 167 hours of labor.

These numbers grew even larger for the eleventh and twelfth annual Ohio Stadium cakes in 2001 and 2002. Just like the "Horseshoe" itself, the cake underwent major renovations when completed. The cake crew added an expanded "C" deck on the west side of the stadium, luxury suites and the new press box. The amount of ingredients used in the 2000 and 2001 Stadium Cakes required 84 cake mixes, 252 eggs, one and half gallons of vegetable oil, 126 pounds of powdered sugar, 21 pounds of shortening, one and half gallons of milk and 24 ounces of vanilla extract.

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The Chillicothe Gazette
The Lancaster Eagle-Gazette
The Marion Star
The Newark Advocate
The Zanesville Times Recorder

Sunday, November 9, 2003

Ohio State cake not as simple as pie

By Carey Checca, Gannett News Service


Joellen Morton-Conrad, left, and Lacey Giffin
admire their 300 pound cake.  Morton-Conrad
and a group of alumni prepared the cake to raise
money for the Ohio Stadium Cake Scholarship Fund.

COLUMBUS -- Just south of St. John Arena, a crowd gathers around a cake.

It's not just any cake. It's an eight-layer, 300-pound cake the size of a card table.

And it's shaped like Ohio Stadium.

"Susie, look at that! Look at that," a woman yells as she drags her friend to the edge of the cake.

The Stadium Cake started with a dare 13 years and hundreds of dozens of eggs ago.

Ohio State alumna MorraLee Holzapfel bet her friend, Mark Tucker, another alumnus, he couldn't make a cake in the shape of the stadium.

"The first cake, which we did on a whim, wasn't very good," Tucker said. "It was falling apart."

The cake makers didn't serve it to anyone.

The crowd of gawkers was so thick the first year, the crew decided to make another cake.

In the past, the crew tried different flavors of mix to make the cake. The chocolate layers crumbled when they tried to sculpt C Deck, Tucker said. So, they stick with an all-white cake.

This year, engineers added three more cake mixes to the project.

Baking and construction began on Monday.

The cake towers eight layers high -- three layers for A Deck, three layers for C Deck and two layers for the press box perched on top of the west side stands.

It's all held together with icing.

"Lots of icing," Tucker said.

The outside is covered in a three-quarter-inch deep layer of the sugary cement.

Inside, Ohio State and Michigan State battle it out on a field of green icing. The fans are dots of scarlet, gray and white. A few more plastic models crowd surf. And Ohio State cheerleaders shake their pom-poms in an endzone.

Tucker pointed out the Michigan State cheerleaders -- a group of cows in the endzone.

The scoreboard reads OSU 21, Michigan State 12.

Pressed into the luxury boxes is a photograph of President Bush holding Saddam Hussein in a headlock.

"Come on, tell me where the WMD's are and I'm going to let you watch the game," Bush says to Hussein in the caption.

A metallic orange Cadillac Escalade, similar to one Maurice Clarrett was seen driving around campus, sits on a pile of play money and compact discs outside of the northeast corner of the stadium.

"There are a lot of repeat visitors," said M.J. Olinski, Columbus, a friend of the cake crew.

This cake, the 13th, is at least twice as big as the original, Tucker said.

All but two on the eight-person crew are Ohio State alumni.

"We've converted two from Illinois," Holzapfel said of Brian and Deb Papesh, who graduated from the University of Illinois.

Each successive year the cake got bigger. And more people donated so they could eat a slice of the cake after the game.

Last year, the cake crew collected more than $9,000 in donations.

If the crew raises $6,000 this year and adds to previous donations, they will have $25,000, enough to endow the Ohio Stadium Cake Scholarship Fund and award at least one academic scholarship to an OSU student each year.

"It's awesome to just watch," Olinski said. "These people come in awe."

  Stadium Cake Press Clippings