Father Pat Bittel, who pastors St. Martin Parish in Rome, takes the cake.

By Renee Beasley Jones Messenger-Inquirer


On Friday night, Bittel paid the highest price ever bid on a cake at the Whitesville Lions Club’s Chili Supper and Pie Auction. He shelled out $1,100 for Gail Campbell’s blueberry masterpiece.

The annual event — a fundraiser for Puzzle Pieces and Wendell Foster — raised a record-breaking $23,119.

“Within an hour and 45 minutes, that’s what we made,” said Lions member and auction organizer Cathy Roby. “It was phenomenal.”

Event proceeds will be split between the two Owensboro nonprofits, both of which serve developmentally disabled clients.

By Sunday morning, Bittel had not eaten his pricey prize yet. Instead, he was keeping it for a family get-together.

Campbell is one of his parishioners, which made that cake more attractive to him.

“The cake was a blueberry cake,” Bittel said, “and I love blueberries.”

Besides that, he wanted to support the work of Wendell Foster and Puzzle Pieces.

At Friday’s auction, Lewis Jean’s famous pineapple upside-down cake came in second with a bid of $1,000. Daviess County Judge Executive Al Mattingly bought it and Marie Wedding’s strawberry Danish cake for $850.

Usually, between 80 and 100 cakes and pies are auctioned off at the annual event. This year, only 76 were needed to hit record proceeds.

Roby said Amanda Owen, executive director of Puzzle Pieces, won hands-down for the most humorous entry. Owen made a “poop cake,” which is a popular chocolate-lover’s dream.

Perhaps the most unique entry was baked by Patsy Mayfield, who re-created the city of Whitesville on a large sheet cake.

The Passionist nuns of Whitesville baked eight pecan pies that brought a total of $1,700.

“All of us at the Whitesville Lions Club feel blessed to be able to help these two great organizations that care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” Roby said.

Renee Beasley Jones, 270-228-2835, [email protected]