Statement from The Sophie Fund

Friends of The Sophie Fund have called to our attention that a political rally held at the Bernie Milton Pavilion in the Ithaca Commons on Sunday October 15 featured a speaker expressing exhilaration over the recent atrocities against Israeli citizens. Some viral images from the rally showed the banner of The Sophie Fund affixed across the Pavilion. We would like to make it clear that this banner was for our annual cupcake contest event held the day before, on Saturday October 14. The banner, which had nothing to do with the political rally, was erected on Friday and is due to be taken down this week when workers return and remove it. The Sophie Fund is a nonprofit community mental health advocacy organization in Tompkins County, NY that promotes youth well-being, suicide prevention, anti-bullying, sexual assault prevention, empathy, and kindness, and celebrates the joys of life. We are not a political organization and there was no political content in our cupcake contest, which is held at the Bernie Milton Pavilion every October. Supporting and attending our event on Saturday were nine local mental health organizations and five Cornell University student organizations. The contest raised funds for an Ithaca mental health clinic serving families and children. We were not informed that a political rally would take place at the Pavilion on the following day and deeply regret any mistaken association with it due to the unrelated juxtaposition of the banner. The Sophie Fund condemns the murder of Israeli civilians as well as the repugnant remarks made at the Sunday rally.

Scene from 8th Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest, October 14, 2023