By Sara Conrad Special to Published Dec 03, 2010 at 3:34 PM

I'm a cynical person by nature.

My Netflix queue is void of science fiction or horror, as any tale too tall will perform a trapeze act in my head; bouncing to and fro as the gears turn and my brain once again rejects the avant-garde.

I was nearly kicked out of catechism class for my skepticism. That one I'm kind of proud of.

Suffice it to say, fairy tales aren't really my thing. Until I met a woman by the name of Sandy Ploy.

I bet you didn't know fairy godmothers existed. Well, they do, Milwaukee, and we're lucky enough to have snagged a good one.

While the rest of us are bee boppin' around town figuring out how we can avoid this new anti-texting law, Sandy Ploy is whipping up cupcakes and charitable gatherings. Sometimes together (I know your mind just imploded a little bit from the good), known as the wildly successful Iron Cupcake events, and sometimes not.

Last night I attended an affair of the latter and it was every bit as sweet as the former. I met up with Milwaukee's Fairy Godmother at Distil, 722 N. Milwaukee St., for "Warm Hands Warm Hearts", an event that partnered with C2 Graphics, It Starts With Us, and James Conway Photography to collect hats, scarves and mittens for residents in need at the Hope House in South Milwaukee.

As I left my car in the hands of the Milwaukee Street valets and entered Distil, I was immediately impressed. The space seems so teeny-tiny from the facade but once inside it's sprawling; with high ceilings, deep booths and a bar that goes on for days. I'm sure Sandy's magical wand waving had something to do with this.

I arrived to the party a bit after the 5 p.m. start time and was impressed with the mountain of donated winter weather attire I was met with. I added my bag o' mittens, entered the raffle, slapped on a name tag and went to mingle. I heard about the gathering via Twitter so I knew I would find friends in the crowd as well as introduce myself to new faces.

The bar at Distil was offering discounted drinks, something you won't find too often at this mixologist haven. I ordered a house glass of the Pino Grigio as it was one of the night's specials and was pleasantly surprised by how tasty it was. It was very light and fruity. I highly recommend it. Others at Warm Hearts, Warm Hands were sipping all sorts of magical concoctions and part of the fun was asking what was in their glass.

A beautiful table was set up filled with complimentary appetizers. It was all very Alice in Wonderland at the tea party. The presentation was a feast for the eyes and the niblets were all divine. I met up with the Fairy Godmother herself to find out a bit more about her latest success and what is next in her bag of charitable tricks... How did you come up with the idea for this event?

Sandy Ploy: I have been unemployed for the last six months and IronCupcake is on hiatus for the holidays. I don't "idle" well, so I thought I would try to come up with an event that wasn't as large scale as IronCupcake that could still do some good for the holidays. There was already Toy Drives and Gift Trees planned, so I didn't want to repeat other's efforts. I picked hats,gloves, and scarves because I wanted to collect something that wasn't super expensive so anyone could feel like they were making a difference. I fell in love with Distil when I visited it earlier this summer. IronCupcake and the SURG Group have never done anything together, so I contacted them to see if they wanted to pair up and they were all for it. I then decided to invite the gang from C2Graphics and It Starts With Us to join me, as I always like to make my events appeal to a broad group and highlight local businesses at the same time. Oh, and the good news is that I start a new job on Monday, so no more down time. Yeah!

OMC: How did you choose the Hope House?

SP: With the success of IronCupcake, I am constantly having non-profits suggested to me. Hope House has been mentioned by some of the bakers more than once. They do great things for families in transition, which means that no matter what type of donation we collect, they will have people who will benefit from it; men, Women or kids, everyone wins.

OMC: What's next for Iron Cupcake?

SP: IronCupcake is pairing up with 91.7 WMSE to produce the IronCupcake Pro/Am Cupcake Clash. The ultimate bad-a$s cupcake challenge. We will be pitting Pros against Pros and Amateurs against Amateurs in a fight to the finish. Some similarities to the regular IronCupcake challenges, but with a few tweaks to appeal to a larger crowd. We will have coffee, tea, milk and beer vendors on hand and an artists challenge. Think Rockabilly Chili meets IronCupcake and that is what this event will be!

It was another night in Milwaukee where the greater good prevailed, warm hearts indeed. As I reluctantly left Distil (to avoid turning into a pumpkin, duh) I was handed a swag bag filled with goodies and coupons from local establishments. I went home to my castle and was so proud to see a tweet from Ms. Ploy showing off the four giant bags of donations. Bravo, Milwaukee and thanks once again Fairy Godmother for a magical night!

Sara Conrad Special to

To say Sara is a woman of many hats would be like saying sour gummy worms are delicious: an epic understatement. Besides blogging, vlogging, tweeting and designing, she is a gal about town. Hopping, skipping and jumping all over this fair city to seek out the latest and greatest.

Since moving to Milwaukee right after high school, Sara's ADD has led her to reside in nearly every ZIP code Milwaukee has to offer. She recently moved from the Third Ward to Shorewood, and though the quieter scene isn't sucking, she vows to prove the burbs' swagger is right up there with the city's.

The Milwaukee area is one of many hats. And Sara's determined to try on each and every one of 'em.