Our Community Is Working to Prevent Youth Bullying

More than 30 adults and young people joined members of the Tompkins County Bullying Prevention Task Force on November 19 in attending a Community Café on the topic of youth bullying.

A young woman opened the discussion at the Greater Ithaca Activities Center by sharing inspirational words based on her experiences with being bullied. She tasked all attendees with homework to put an end to bullying when it happens, and to listen to young people when they come to adults for help.

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The GIAC Navigators performed an original rap song “Stop Bullying” that encouraged attendees to find common ground.

The event included a short but powerful video posted on YouTube by Spokane, Washington, Public Schools that included interviews with youth of all ages about bullying.

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Participants then engaged in small-group conversations to share their own experiences, discuss existing resources and strategies, and offer ideas for bullying prevention. The information provided the attendees will be provided to the Task Force for consideration in its work.

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Representatives from more than two dozen local government agencies, community organizations, and local schools formed the Tompkins County Bullying Prevention Task Force earlier this year to explore the prevalence of youth, teen, and young adult bullying and strategies to combat it.

The Task Force plans further community cafe events throughout the county in 2020.

To learn how to participate in the Task Force’s work or inquire about future community cafe events, email thesophiefund2016@gmail.com

Bullying: We Need Your Voice

The Tompkins County Bullying Prevention Task Force is launching a series of “community cafés,” starting with an event next Tuesday November 19 from 5:30 to 7 pm at the Greater Area Ithaca Center (GIAC) 301 West Court Street in Ithaca. The event is open to parents, students, professionals, educators, and all community members. Food and childcare will be provided.

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A community café is a facilitated conversation that is used to spark creative ideas and solutions to local issues or concerns and that provides resources around a topic. The Task Force is keen to connect with local families in the community to learn about their experiences and thoughts around the topic of bullying in Tompkins County.

Specifically, we seek to gauge the awareness of local resources within our community and help inform ourselves about the current strategies being used, and what new strategies might be needed to help our youth address this important topic with success within their daily lives. We will also be seeking what resources might be needed within Tompkins County to help provide better supports for the parents of youth who are struggling with bullying.

The Task Force intends to use the information gathered at this local event to inform the larger work of the Task Force, and also help ensure that our community partners are using our local resources to garner maximum impact. While it is not always possible to prevent every single episode of bullying, we are committed to working with our local families to create safe spaces for our youth, where conversations can be had with caring adults to help them address the issue of bullying, should it ever impact them or another child in their circles.

Earlier this year, representatives from more than two dozen local government agencies, community organizations, and local schools formed the Tompkins County Bullying Prevention Task Force to explore the prevalence of youth, teen, and young adult bullying and strategies to combat it.

We hope you will consider joining us for this very important conversation next Tuesday at GIAC. We look forward to working together to help make Tompkins County a bullying free zone for everyone! If you have any questions or need further information, please reach out to the Tompkins County Youth Services Department at (607) 274-5310.

—By Kate Shanks-Booth

Kate Shanks-Booth is the director of the Tompkins County Youth Services Department and a coordinator for the Tompkins County Bullying Prevention Task Force

Ithaca Cupcakes 2019: Special Awards

Contestants in the 4th Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest on October 19 dished up spectacular entries—congratulations to these winners of Special Awards!

I Might be a Short Cake, But It Really Stacks Up Award

Madely Myers

I’ve FALLen For You Award

Natalie McCaskill-Myers

Pumpkiniest Award

Faith Heath

Un-Be-Leaf-Able Award

Monica Lee Cotto

Paws-itively Adorable Award

Kelsey Pipkin

Head Over Heels for the Chocolate Heart Award

Audrey Greene

It’s Early Gre(y)at

Veronica Fitzpatrick

It Takes Two To Mango Award

Mary Sever-Schoonmaker

Tea-Riffic! Award

Ashley Bacalso & Shiang Chin

Nonu Would Be Proud Award

Kyra O’Toole

Mint to Be Award

Violet Zoner

Berry Delicious Award

Erin Morris

Season’s Greetings Award

Miranda Crosley

Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice Award

Rebacca Gray

Best Thing Since Sliced Bread Award

Tabitha Gray

It’s a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown Award

Hannah & Cheryl Stephenson

Most Attractive to Bees Award

Hallie Sims

madelymyersMadely Myers’s entry: strawberry and cream cheese cupcakes reflecting “sweet” Sophie

nataliemccaskillmyersNatalie McCaskill-Myers’s entry: pumpkin and spice cupcakes inpired by the Farmer’s Market

faithheathFaith Heath’s entry: pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and gold and black crystal sprinkles

monicaleecottoMonica Lee Cotto’s entry: banana cream cupcakes decorated with a chocolate gold feather

kelseypipkinKelsey Pipkin’s tiramisu expresso-flavored cupcakes decorated with kitty-themed lady finger biscuits

audreygreeneAudrey Greene’s entry: chocolate and raspberry cupcakes with a chocolate heart decoration

veronicafitzpatrickVeronica Fitzpatrick’s entry: Earl Grey cupcakes with a candied grapefruit peel, brandy snap, and edible flower petals

maryseverschoonmakerMary Sever-Schoonmaker’s entry: “Mango Wango Tango” ginger cupcakes with homemade mango curd with a white chocolate bubble bark garnish

ashleyshiangAshley Bacalso & Shiang Chin’s entry: Green tea cupcakes garnished with a matcha pocky stick

kyraotooleKyra O’Toole’s entry: dark chocolate cannoli cupcakes with Italian meringue frosting

violetzonerViolet Zoner’s entry: chocolate cupcakes with mint Oreo, Italian meringue frosting, and Oreo crumbles and candy melt drizzles

erinmorrisErin Morris’s entry: Blueberry bourbon homegrown basil cupcakes iced with blueberry buttercream frosting

mirandacrosleyMiranda Crosley’s entry: pumpkin cupcakes filled with spiced cranberry sauce topped with leaf-shaped pie crust decorations and a sugared cranberry

rebeccagrayRebacca Gray’s entry: chocolate lime and black pepper cupcakes with coconut lime frsoting

tabithagrayTabitha Gray’s entry: lemon mango cupcakes with lemon buttercream frosting decorated with chocolate chips and lemon drops

hannahcherylHannah & Cheryl Stephenson’s entry: “Puff-kin Patch” spice cupcakes with cinnamon caramel ermine frosting and jack-o-lantern decorations

halliesimsHallie Sims’s entry: wild blackberry cardamom cupcakes and lemon blackberry cream frosting decorated with sugared blackberries and mint leaves (all of which seemed to delight Ithaca’s honey bee population!)

Ithaca Cupcakes 2019: Honorable Mention Awards

This year’s annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest set a record for entries—66 bakers created their magic and brought it down to the Bernie Milton Pavilion on Saturday October 19. The judges had an impossible task, but besides the top three winners they selected six bakers to receive Honorable Mention Awards. Bravo and thanks to all 66 contestants—you were amazing!

All Honorable Mention awardees were presented with $25 gift certificates from the Downtown Ithaca Alliance.

Honorable Mention

Active Minds at Ithaca High School

Rachel Allison

Akiko Cliteur

Kate Bagnell

Erica Brath

Heather Williams

7B584E0C-0F84-4436-AD61-E3BFB936284CActive Minds at Ithaca High School’s entry: Napoleon ice cream-themed cupcakes set in a classic cone with layers of vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate cake topped with homemade whipped cream and sprinkles.

ADA14739-ADFC-4EA3-963B-B03605AE43FDRachel Allison’s entry: Chocolate cupcakes filled with chocolate truffle and intense strawberry flavor, topped with a Nutella, raspberry and white chocolate buttercream swirl–and a pouring cup of chocolate sauce.

F80A9D81-A5A4-4862-B7D7-194B5E52B589Akiko Cliteur’s entry: Carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting accompanied by lemon flavored macarons with almond, cranberry, and pistachio toppings.

B5FA12AB-ED89-4E13-94BB-39D9EC4F4AD4Kate Bagnell’s entry: The “cookie-lover’s cupcakes” are chocolate chip cupcakes with cookie dough core, topped with chocolate fudge, buttercream frosting, and a mini chocolate chip sandwich cookie.

F967CB72-7C7D-4402-A394-15CC95948654Erica Brath’s entry: All-vegan chocolate stout cupcakes with whiskey buttercream icing and dark chocolate dragon decorations.

0496724F-77CE-48CE-A870-74CC19275F96Heather Williams’s entry: Spiced pumpkin cupcakes filled with cranberry compote with cranberry cheesecake frosting.

Ithaca’s Best Cupcakes 2019

Here are the winners in the 4th Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest organized by The Sophie Fund in the Ithaca Commons on October 19. (More winners will be posted soon!)

ZoeDubrowZoe Dubrow (right) won the Grand Prize

DubrowCupcakesZoe Dubrow’s “Cup(cakes) of Tea” were made of Earl Grey cake layered with fall flower honey cheesecake and honeyed lemon curd inside of an Earl Grey-infused white chocolate tea cup. The cupcakes were garnished with a candied lemon slice and a frosted Earl Grey short bread tea bag cookie.

1st Prize

$250 gift certificate from Downtown Ithaca Alliance

Zoe Dubrow

2655AC04-F3E8-48E5-9A9D-2A72D3B17233Ann Phelan’s “Toasty Campfire Cupcakes” won second prize in the 4th Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest!  Her chocolate cupcakes with Graham Cracker crust were topped with marshmallow-like frosting.

2nd Prize

$100 gift certificate from Downtown Ithaca Alliance

Ann Phelan

F507859D-7B65-4DD4-B876-FDBFE8281B01Jennifer Dobmeier’s “I Love Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes” won third prize in the 4th Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest! The pumpkin spice cupcakes were filled with expresso mascarpone filling, and topped with pumpkin spice vanilla frosting and a white chocolate coffee cup lid.

3rd Prize

$50 gift certificate for GreenStar Natural Foods Market

Jennifer Dobmeier

48628259-563B-410A-ACF5-F86388F8E9A2Takoda Warner’s vegan cupcakes won the Youth Award in the 4th Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest! The fig and rosemary pound cake cupcakes were topped by a vegan white chocolate flower.

Youth Award

$100 gift certificate from Downtown Ithaca Alliance

Takoda Warner