A Christian man from Tennessee is serving his community for more than a decade by baking carrot cakes for people.
The Christian Headlines said Lebanon, Tennessee native Mike Gann has been baking carrot cakes for his community for sixteen years now. Gann has baked more than 2,000 carrot cakes for that period. He is targeting to bake 200 for this year after baking 192 carrot cakes last year and 260 in 2019.
"Right now, I'm at 160, so I probably will make it to at least 200," Gann declared in an interview with The Christian Chronicle.
Accordingly, the 53-year-old Gann's carrot cakes are not just delicious but also award-winning. Gann has repeatedly won red and blue ribbons in the DeKalb County Fair over the years and was even awarded in 2019 as the best in show in dessert category.
Gann's carrot cakes are served at Stone River Manor's elderly community. Stone River Manor was founded in 1977 by Churches in Christ as a seniors' home for Christians. Gann, who has worked 28 years in Stones River mostly as its Family Services Director, said he provides the cakes out of compassion for the elderly since he did not meet his grandparents.
"I didn't get to know my grandparents when I was very young. I just have compassion for older people, and I have preached many a funeral and been a pallbearer for our residents at Stones River Manor," Gann shared.
Stones River Chief Executive Officer Kirk Mason revealed that Gann is loved by residents and regarded as "important" there.
"There's not enough I can say to describe how important he is here. The residents love him. Their families love him. He takes very good care of them. I've heard Mike described as being the face of the manor before, but he's not the face--he's the heart of the manor," Mason disclosed.
In addition to serving the elderly, Gann also aids in an advocacy for seniors through his cakes. Gann has raised about $20,000 every year for the last five years for Walk to End Alzheimer's, an annual fund raiser of Rutherford County. He is said to be "one of the Top 100 fundraisers in the whole United States." Gann, who takes medications for Dementia and whose two brothers have already died with it, auctions his cakes to raise funds.
The recipe for the carrot cakes Gann bakes was handed to him by his mother-in-law who died of Alzheimer's. He aims to maintain his top spot at the fundraiser that he has held for the last 20 years by surpassing the $12,000 raised in 2020.
"We just had an online auction and sold three of my carrot cakes. They went for $35, $37.50 and $51. At one live auction, two carrot cakes sold together for $300," Gann said.
Gann lost his father when he was only 10 and his exposure to the College Street Church of Christ bus ministry introduced him to older members that he eventually regarded as second parents. The bus ministry provided him, his three siblings, and his mother transportation to the church's services.
Gann, who bakes as "therapy" for his dementia, also sends his cakes to brighten up families who have lost a loved one besides giving them to friends during birthdays.