Crown Heights girl hosts bake sale for a cause

Zaria Gellineau and her mother Penelope hosted a bake sale at Kings County hospital to raise money for the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit on Oct. 10.
Melville Sylvester

A young baker gave Kings County Hospital a sweet deal with a fund raising bake sale for the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit on Oct. 10.

As a former patient in the unit 12 years ago, 12-year-old Zaria Gellineau organized the bake sale to raise money for the unit that saved her life, said her mother Penelope Gellineau.

“It was mainly my daughter’s idea after she saw someone raising funds for the March of Dimes with a sale,” said Penelope Gellineau. “She’s older now and thought that we could make a bigger one for the March of Dimes on behalf of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.”

Zaria was was born prematurely at just one pound and seven ounces and spent three and half months getting care in the unit. Thankful for her life and care she received, she wanted to give back with a bake sale. Zaria and her mother took two days to make a variety of baked goods from cakes, to cookies, to breads, to all types of pastries and sold them.

“Our headliner was West Indian fruitcake, but we also had red velvet, carrot cake, chocolate, cherry, and cupcakes,” said Gellineau. “We also had vegetable cupcakes made with kale and cauliflower. We ate so much I don’t think we’ll be eating cake for while.”

With the help of family and friends, Gellineau and her daughter planned the sale in a month, creating a list of various sweets and deserts — all homemade — to sell to staff and patients of Kings County Hospital. Using about 130 pounds of flour and two days of baking, they produced 25 selections of baked goods. Gellineau said her daughter was so pleased with the support received from the sale, that another sale will be coming soon.

“She was very excited and she had her best friends with her who were also premature, they’ve all been friends since,” said Penelope Gellineau. “They had a blast and she’s looking forward to the next opportunity.”

The sale was a hit according to Gellineau, having more than 400 buyers throughout the six-hour sale, surpassing their $1,500 goal.

The bake sale was personal and especially important to Gellineau because Kings County Hospital does not get the accolades it deserves, she said.

“I just want people to know how good Kings County Hospital is,” said Gellineau. “I think that our community’s expectations of healthcare are not always realistic. Kings County is terribly underrated — there are many services available there that many other places do not offer to the uninsured and underinsured including, but not limited to caring for severely premature babies.”

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimo[email protected]
Zaria Gellineau (front center) poses with the baked goods at Kings County hospital for her bake sale.
Melville Sylvester

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