GHS senior’s cookbook helps a friend meet medical expenses

by Betty Wrenn Day - Posted on Mar 21, 2012 - 01:07 PM

Photo: Kayleigh West holds the cookbook she wrote and is marketing as a Senior Independent Research Study project at Gloucester High School. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day.

Kayleigh West holds the cookbook she wrote and is marketing as a Senior Independent Research Study project at Gloucester High School. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day.

Kayleigh West, a senior at Gloucester High School, fulfilled requirements for her Senior Independent Research Study by publishing a cookbook. However, Kayleigh took her project a big step further by selling her books to benefit another student who had been severely hurt during Hurricane Irene in 2011.

Cooking has always been of interest to Kayleigh and putting a cookbook together seemed the logical project to pursue. She said, "I’ve been cooking ever since I could stand in a chair beside both of my grandmothers, Chris Shipley and Brenda Leota. They would let me help and teach me at the same time. I spent three years in culinary classes at Gloucester High School and now I have my own business, ‘Cakes By Kayleigh.’"

According to her mother Jill West, "Kayleigh has known for the past three years what she wanted to do. She has had a passion for cooking ever since age two; and at age 13 she took all of the Wilton Cake Decoration classes. She has been baking cakes for the past four years. Putting this cookbook together with family’s and friends’ recipes is what she has always wanted to do. When her friend Morganne Roundy had her tragic accident, Kayleigh combined her love for baking with her willingness to help others. She decided to make her cookbook project, ‘Confections For A Cause,’ a fundraiser to help Morganne’s family with their numerous hospital bills."

Kayleigh said, "This project has been a whole family experience and a great learning experience for me. Everyone has been wonderful. I have so many to thank for helping me make it through. The UPS Store in Gloucester designed and published this book. I went online looking for clip art and when I got in touch with such a source, when they found out what I was doing, sent me $20 in coupons to buy the clip art I needed. We sold our first printing of 50 books at $15 each, have put together 50 more for sale and as long as donations for printing costs keep coming in, there’s no end."