By Ingrid Schnader
Although the team at Savage’s Bakery is known for creating birthday cakes for people all over the area, they aren’t usually the people who throw the birthday parties. However, when Elizabeth Scott — who owns the bakery with her father — received a call from Kim Kirkpatrick, she said her heart melted.
“I was helping her on the phone, and she mentioned her daughter Amy was 13 and loved flowers and had never had a birthday party,” Scott recalled.
Scott had the idea to have Amy Bailey’s birthday party at the bakery, and Kirkpatrick agreed. They planned and put together her 13th birthday party within a day and a half.
“They didn’t have a lot of family or friends that might be able to come,” Scott said. “But I told her not to worry. We would make it extra special.”
Because Bailey has autism, Scott reached out to Kulturecity — an Alabama-based nonprofit — to see if there was anything specific she should do in the party room to help Bailey feel comfortable. Kulturecity responded by bringing a bounce house, cornhole games and their brand-new SAVE vehicle.
“Just through reaching out to the community, it’s been really great to see,” Scott said. “We’ve had people walk in and just drop off gifts out of nowhere and see what was happening and go next door to our neighbors, Jack and Jill and Sikes, and buy gifts and bring them for her. So it’s really been more than we ever thought it would be.”
Throughout the party, Kirkpatrick had a smile on her face and her phone in her hand taking photos of Bailey at her very first birthday party.
“It’s hard to get autism kids in with regular kids during playtime,” she said. “So this is Amy’s first birthday party that she’s actually been invited to … She doesn’t have any friends, except she has some that she talks to at school, but that’s it.”
At her party, Bailey was surrounded by new friends. Mothers of children with autism showed up and introduced their children to Bailey. Strangers wrapped up gifts and dropped them off throughout the day. People showed Bailey how to play cornhole and hung out with her in the SAVE vehicle.
“It’s her first birthday, and she’s a teenager,” Scott said. “It’s kind of embarking on a really special time in her life. And from here on out, if she wants to have a party here every year for forever, then that’s what we’ll do.”
Amy didn’t know about the party until they drove up to the bakery. She said she was surprised and that her favorite part of the party was eating her flower-covered cake.
“We’ve been here since the ‘70s,” Scott said. “It’s been a family business, and that’s really what we’re all about, community and family. If we can do little things like this every once in a while, then it really makes what we do all the more special and rewarding.”