"Cake Lady" Helps Cook Up Birthday Greetings

By Shannon Maynard
Thursday, May 15, 2008

More than four years ago, Betty Frank volunteered to help paint at the John George Home.

Betty Frank, right, laughs with Carrie Good, middle, and her husband, Bob Frank, at the John George Home, 1501 E. Ganson St., in celebration of her 71st birthday.

While she was helping to improve the building, she met a man who was disappointed that no one had remembered his birthday.

Frank felt she had found a way to help the man at the home and has been making birthday cakes for the residents ever since.

“It’s an opportunity to do something nice for these men,’’ the 71-year old Jackson resident said. “Perhaps they haven’t had a lot of special things in their lives.... I want to make their birthday special.’’

Frank has made about 140 cakes for the men at the home. She purchases all of the ingredients herself and allows the men to choose the flavor.

It has become a tradition, and they look forward to seeing the “cake lady.’’

“(Frank) is an incredible woman,’’ said Carrie Good, the home’s administrator. “She really cares about these residents and goes over and beyond. She’s invested in these men’s lives, and there’s no limit to her kindness.’’

Frank says the home offers the men something they wouldn’t otherwise have.

“The John George Home gives them dignity, camaraderie and freedom,’’ she said.

Making cakes for the residents not only makes their birthday special, it makes Frank feel special, too.

“Something so simple can bring so much joy (to the men), and it’s so easy to do,’’ she said. “I just like to do it, and I’m able to bring a little happiness to these men.’’

Prior to retiring 10 years ago, Frank worked as a secretary at Northwest Elementary School.

She also has been a mentor for second-graders at Parnall Elementary School for the past 10 years.

Frank and her husband, Bob, have been married for 52 years. The couple have four daughters, 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Reprinted with permission from The Jackson Citizen Patriot
Copyright May 2008

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