NASHVILLE, TN — The surefire way to coax a cheer from a crowd? Promise cake.

Cake as in SusieCakes, the West Coast specialty cakes, cupcakes and cookies favorite of the Hollywood celebrity set, with 26 locations in California and Texas. Founder Susan “Susie” Sarich was keynote speaker at The Power of the Purse®, the 26th annual auction and luncheon April 12 at the Music City Center’s Davidson Ballroom to benefit The Women’s Fund at The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

The Dallas-based Sarich’s entrepreneurial story — woman chucks a long career in the hospitality industry to open a from-scratch bakery in the tony Los Angeles suburb of Brentwood, armed with guile and her two grandmothers’ 3-by-5 inch recipe cards, (inspirational stuff indeed) —concluded with the announcement that the 27th location of SusieCakes is scheduled to open at The Mall at Green Hills sometime in the not-too-distant future.

The news prompted big cheers from the crowd, which helps explain the SusieCakes loyalty from the likes of Selena Gomez, Jimmy Kimmel, the Kardashians, Jessica Simpson, Demi Lovato and Nashville native Reese Witherspoon. 

Other speakers included: The Power of the Purse Co-Chairs Georgette Eftekhari and Melanie Tigrett; Hal Cato, CEO of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee; Jennifer Pagliara, Chair of The Women’s Fund Advisory Board; and Carol Yochem, the Nashville/Middle Tennessee Region President for presenting sponsor First Horizon Bank.

One of Middle Tennessee’s most significant celebrations of women’s philanthropy, The Power of the Purse® this year championed female entrepreneurs. Guests arrived early to bid on the array of colorful and choice purses contributed to the silent auction.

The Women’s Fund was established in 1994 by a committee of brave community leaders who wanted to invest in long-term solutions for transforming the lives of women and girls and thus improve the well-being of our entire community. Humbly beginning with eight $500 grants, The Women’s Fund grantmaking capacity has grown every year and has granted more than $2.5 million to 160 area nonprofits in Middle Tennessee.

For more information about The Women’s Fund, go to

The Community Foundation exists to promote and facilitate giving in the 40 counties of Middle Tennessee and beyond. It does this by accepting gifts of any size from anyone at any time and by empowering individuals, families, companies, nonprofits, and communities to respond to needs and opportunities that matter. The Community Foundation works with people who have great hearts, whether or not they have great wealth, to craft solutions that reflect the intentions and goals of their charitable endeavors.

For more information, call 615-321-4939 or visit