the emeritus board

Emeritus Board Members

Dawn is a Tucson native, raised in a large family. She was bitten by the baking bug her freshman year in home ec, and has been creating her own recipes from then on. She has been making cakes that tell stories for over a decade for her own family, and three years ago she decided to take the four Wilton classes so her cakes looked a bit more professional. Liz Hague was her instructor, who encouraged her to join The Icing On The Cake Club. She then met Rene’ Luedeman, who encouraged Dawn to take her baking classes at Pima to better understand the science behind the baking. She has many years of experience working on non profit boards and fund raising. She is married, and has 2 sons and 2 dogs. Her two favorite places are outdoors or in her kitchen. She loves riding quads and horses, hunting, fishing, hiking and camping.


Rita ventured to Tucson 39 years ago in search of warmth and sunshine after growing up in Michigan. She took a position as a Histotechnologist at the University of Arizona Medical Center. She, then, began taking classes at the University while working part-time at the Environmental Research Laboratory on shrimp research. Currently, Rita continues to work on shrimp research at the University of Arizona in Veterinary Science and Microbiology.

Rita has two daughters who are now a successful Physical Therapist and an Emergency Room physician. During the years while she and her husband were raising their daughters, she enjoyed being active with their activities and interests from Brownie/Girl Scouts, 4H, gymnastics, dance, swimming to doing crafts, hiking and traveling. Rita’s interest in cake decorating began on her daughters’ first birthday. She began a tradition of baking personalized birthday cakes for her daughters by always allowing them to choose the theme for their cakes. Over the years, she grew into a self-taught cake decorator. Rita’s first Wilton class was taken under Rene Luedeman when Rene began her “career” in cake decorating. Rita is thankful for the opportunity to be a part of Cakes for Causes. The baking experience, the people that the organization becomes associated with and the people that we are able to bring happiness to are amazing.