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Bakery Ensured Woman Had Birthday (Cup)cakes

Good morning. My name is Patrick Galla. I turn 65 this year. I grew up in Wheeling and now live in Louisville, Kentucky. My mother, Jean Galla, has been a Wheeling resident for the last 50 years. On March 25, she turned 93 while rehabilitating in Wheeling Continuous Care Center.

Her story, this random act of kindness, begins on March 2, when she fell in her kitchen and broke her hip. She was making dinner for herself. Fortunately she had a medic alert system and was able to call for help.

The next day I drove from my home to take care of her. Surgery went well on March 3, by Dr. Dante Marra. On March 6, she was transferred from Wheeling Hospital to the Wheeling Continuous Care Center to begin her physical rehabilitation. I was there and then my sister Chris came in town from Silver Spring, Maryland, to visit. During this difficult time some family and friends were able to drop in and visit.

On March 12, all of that stopped and nobody was allowed to visit her facility due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The facility was closed to the public. We were able to get her iPad delivered so she could Facetime with all of us as she had before all of this started.

As her birthday (March 25) approached, it became obvious that no family or friends were going to be able to be with her. I contacted Lara Graves from Whisk Bakery in Wheeling (304-280-6089) the week before her birthday and asked her if she could make and deliver a carrot cake (mom’s favorite) to my mom for her birthday. She said she could and payment was made over the phone.

I had never met Lara or heard of Whisk Bakery before this immediate need. I moved from Wheeling almost 45 years ago. I arranged with some of the nursing staff to have a “party” for my mom and they were delighted to take part.

Then on March 23, the orders came down that all essential businesses (like bakeries) had to close. Lara called me and told me that she would no longer be able to make and deliver the cake to my mom. However, she offered the following solution:

1. She returned my money for the cake because she could not fulfill her commitment to make the cake. I was not expecting this.

2. She owns a restaurant that WAS allowed to stay open and they sell cupcakes.

3. Lara suggested cupcakes as a substitute so she picked out six colorful cupcakes with candles so my mom could still celebrate. Delivered! Free! Gratis!

I was incredibly moved by this act of kindness as I hung up the phone. Attached are pictures right after her surgery and also of the party that was done at Continuous Care.

Lara Graves and Whisk Bakery had no obligation to do this for my mother but they did. I am a business owner and give my customers excellent customer service so I know customer service when I see it. This good will exhibited by Lara deserves public recognition and that is why I am writing this. My hope is that people will learn of this and become inspired to pay it forward to others during this nation’s difficult time.

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