BabyCakes fundraiser garners more than $1,000 for Pregnancy Care Center

NILES — People who visited the 14th annual Hunter Ice Festival Saturday had a sweet opportunity to help the Pregnancy Care Center through the seventh annual BabyCakes cupcake fundraiser.

Hundreds flocked to the Bell Building Saturday to purchase tickets to try cupcakes from 17 different bakers. A panel of five judges cast their votes for the best dressed, tastiest and best theme. BabyCakes attendants also cast their votes for people’s choice cupcake winner.  Prizes included gift cards for local businesses.

The event raised $1,393 for the Pregnancy Care Center, which helps people in need obtain parenting education, clothing and other baby care supply necessities.

Ashley Wentz, of Niles, coordinated this year’s event and said she was excited to see so many people step up for a worthy cause.

“I feel like it is a good event,” Wentz said. “The bakers all talk about what a great cause it is to support the Pregnancy Care Center and they like to know that they are helping in their pregnancies.”

This year’s contest featured 74 dozen cupcakes and 24 different flavors for people to sample. Cupcakes were also available to buy, if people found that a sample just was not enough.

While baking is one aspect, Wentz said she enjoys seeing all the creativity that crafting the cupcakes brings out. This year, a contestant modeled cupcake holders after a Starbucks cup, only, the cup read: “Pregnancy Care Center,” instead of “Starbucks.”

The contest also encourages bakers from all ages to participate. This year the contest had bakers from the ages of 6 to 60 years of age participating.

Brooklyn Jackson, the office manager for the Pregnancy Care Center, said the money raised supports the organization’s general fund. Currently, she said the organization is experiencing a shortage of available boys clothing, so the funds raised will help them to purchase clothing to fill that need. The money will also go toward the purchase of everyday supplies, such as diapers and wipes.

Wentz said this is her second year volunteering to coordinate the event. She said she chooses to help volunteer to help the Pregnancy Care Center’s cause. She said she felt that BabyCakes is a unique and fun event that supports the organization’s efforts.

“There really is not anything like this around,” Wentz said.

The event also helps the Pregnancy Care Center spread awareness about their services during Baby Cakes.

“We do it during the Hunter Ice Festival, so we get a big crowd from the community,” Wentz said. “I just hope that if they did not already know about what the Pregnancy Care Center does, they know now.”

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