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Cake decorator, relay chair is Mountain Fest's second princess


Lisa Martinez is excited to represent Sandy

Lisa Martinez, 45, has lived in Sandy for 13 years since her now 17-year-old daughter, Shelby, was in kindergarten.

Growing up in Gresham, Martinez said she was well acquainted with Sandy, and had lots of friends that attended the local high school.

“When most kids were headed into Portland to hang out, I was headed into Sandy,” she said.

She said she thought it would be a great place to raise her daughter.

Although Martinez works in fire and water restoration for Vanguard Restoration in Milwaukie, she says that’s not her only job.

Martinez also teaches weight support classes at Mt. Hood Athletic Club and designs cakes.

After her daughter was born, Martinez always thought it would be cool to order an elaborate cake for family celebrations, but the price made it difficult. As a stay at home mom, Martinez decided she had the time and the skills to give it a shot.

Turns out, she was pretty good at it.

Three years ago, Martinez decided to partly step away from her corporate job in order to spend more time at home.

“Teenagers take up more time than toddlers,” she said. “Somebody forgot to tell me that.” Designing cakes is a way for her to continue making some money.

Martinez says she designs everything from traditional wedding cakes to whimsical special occasion carved cakes.

She says that although she does have cakes that stick out in her mind, every cake she makes is her favorite cake.

“After I finish, I say, ‘Oh, awesome. This one’s my favorite,’” she said. She added that her family and friends laugh at her for saying it after every cake.

“I really like the custom cakes,” Martinez said, “the ones that are challenges.”

Recently, Martinez carved a yellow dump truck out of cake for a little boy’s birthday.

One bride brought her a photo of her fiancé’s jeep, in which he loves to go out and four-by-four, as inspiration for a groom’s cake. Martinez put together a cake depicting the jeep, complete with cans hanging from the back and just married lettering, making its way through mountain terrain.

Even with her busy schedule, Martinez finds time to be involved in community service groups. For the last two years, she has been the chair of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of Sandy.

Martinez said she was introduced to the American Cancer Society in 2002 when she was diagnosed with cervical and uterine cancer.

She was referred to the society’s 1-800-number for support when she had trouble talking about her disease with her family.

Until she became acquainted with Relay for Life, Martinez had no idea the depth to which ACS was involved in the lives of cancer patients, she said. “I thought they only did research.”

But, Martinez said, they also give patients rides to and from appointments, provide housing when patients come from out of town for an appointment, supply things like wigs and makeup and are even involved in legislative matters concerning cancer research.

After experiencing the Relay for Life, Martinez was hooked. She vowed to go every year.

Eventually Martinez heard that the Relay for Life of North Clackamas needed a chair and volunteered. Although she said she learned a lot while the chairwoman in Clackamas, when a position opened in Sandy, she took it.

This is her second year as chair for Sandy’s Relay for Life. The event will take place Saturday, Aug. 2, at the Oregon Trail School District’s Pioneer Building, 17100 Bluff Road.

Martinez hopes to educate more people about Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society, just as was done for her. She is now cancer free.

Martinez is excited to meet new people at the Sandy Mountain Fest and represent her town.

A tradition of her family for many years, Martinez can’t wait for the parade.