2nd Annual Ithaca Cupcake Coloring Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2nd Annual Ithaca Cupcake Coloring Contest! (And thanks to the team from Alternatives Federal Credit Union for running the event!)

1st Place (tie)

Caroleena Auge

Joumii Bard


2nd Place (tie)

Madelyne Myers

Elbie Rydzik


3rd Place

Olivia Phillips



Caroleena Auge—1st Prize


1-bard copy

Joumii Bard—1st Prize



Madelyne Myers—2nd Prize



Elbie Rydzik—2nd Prize



Olivia Phillips—3rd Prize

Students and The Sophie Fund

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week at Cornell University, but for some college students in Ithaca, it’s seems like every week is mental health week. In a good way!

The Sophie Fund is privileged to partner on a host of projects with student organizations at Cornell and Ithaca College. Active Minds at Ithaca College, and Cornell Minds Matter, Alpha Phi Omega–Gamma Chapter and Phi Sigma Pi at Cornell all played vital roles in the 2017 Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest in the Commons on October 14.

APO-PSPVolunteers from Cornell University’s Alpha Phi Omega–Gamma Chapter and Phi Sigma Pi

Besides volunteering to register contestants, inventory the cupcake entries, participate in preliminary judging (okay, hard work!), and clean up the Bernie Milton Pavilion afterwards, students participated in a related fundraising effort for suicide prevention. In one week alone in September, APO Gamma collected more than $500 in donations. APO Gamma also delivered excess cupcake entries to the Friendship Center at the Ithaca Rescue Mission for the homeless.

Speaking at the cupcake awards ceremony, Winnie Ho, vice president of service for APO Gamma, said that working for mental health causes was one of her fraternity’s top priorities. Here’s what she had to say:

“I’d like to take this time to talk about the partnership that we have developed with The Sophie Fund over the past year. It’s been one of the most rewarding experiences of our chapter to get involved in all the mental health opportunities that exist in this town.

“For us, service remains one of our most important cardinal principles. We’ve seen an overwhelming response from many of our brothers to support for opportunities within APO and other opportunities outside of APO to serve and support their friends, their loved ones, and their community.

“At Cornell it is Mental Health Awareness Week, and APO Gamma is hosting many events, and so are many other student organizations. Which helps prove the point: anyone can get involved in mental health. You can start by asking yourself, asking your friends, taking care of the people around you. You don’t need to organize anything enormous to start improving the mental health of other people. Thank you so much for coming out today. Happy cupcakes!”

DSC_8712 copyWinnie Ho of Cornell University’s APO Gamma Chapter

Cooper Walter, president of Cornell Minds Matter, staffed a table at the cupcake contest to engage contestants and passersby on mental health issues. During the awards ceremony, he issued a special appeal to young people in Ithaca. Here’s what he had to say:

“In the couple minutes we have here today, I want to talk about mental health and young people. College age—18 to 24—is a pivotal turning point for everyone’s lives. It is at that age that most of the mental health disorders onset. And it is the age that we build the life skills and the coping strategies that set us up for success.

“At Cornell, 25 percent of all students have a mental health disorder, but only 30 percent [of those] seek help. I want to challenge every one here—especially the young people—to take a moment to engage with mental health. Ask yourself, ‘What does mental health mean to you?’ ‘What is your mental health?’ ‘How can you improve it?’ ‘And what are you going to do—today—to advance mental health and make your life better.’

“I also challenge you to take a moment to engage with your peers. Many friends are struggling with their mental health, or can improve their mental health, but aren’t thinking about it. Today, when you talk to your friends, ask them: ‘How are you doing?’ But don’t just take ‘Oh, I’m good,’ or ‘I’m fine,’ at face value. Ask them, ‘Are you struggling with anything?’ ‘Can I help you in any way?’ ‘Is there anything you’d like to discuss?’

“If we take these small steps, considering what mental health is to us, and reach out to our friends to help them engage with mental health, we can set ourselves up for a successful life, and successful health.”

DSC_8709 copyCooper Walter of Cornell Minds Matter

CMMCornell Minds Matter at the Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest in the Commons

PSPVolunteers from Phi Sigma Pi

APOWinnie Ho and Ivan Rios of APO–Gamma

APO Buttons 092517APO–Gamma brothers collecting donations for suicide prevention in Ho Plaza

AM-greenstar2Members of Active Minds at Ithaca College collecting donations for suicide prevention at GreenStar Natural Foods Market


Cupcake Joy, 2017 Edition

Enjoy a photo gallery from the 2nd Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest, held in the Commons on October 14, 2017.

bannerBernie Milton Pavilion, October 14, 2017


registrationLet the Contest Begin: Angela registers Tamarynde Cacciotti’s entry, cream puff cupcakes with Earl Grey pastry filling that went on to win the Grand Prize.


alistrongwaterHappy Halloween: Ali Strongwater’s 2nd Prize-winning pumpkin and ginger cupcakes haunted by sugar ghosts.


alexanderRaspberries and Butterflies: Alexander Quilty’s 3rd prize-winning chocolate raspberry-filled cupcakes with raspberry buttercream frosting.


monicacottoEmerging Brightness: Monica Cotto’s vegan blood orange dark chocolate cupcakes topped with edible crystal geodes (Honorable Mention).


Beth Goelzer LyonsForest of Cupcakes: Beth Goelzer Lyons’s chocolate chip cookie dough-filled vegan chocolate cupcakes topped with chocolate trees.


melaniehardyFall Foilage: Melanie Hardy’s Campfire S’more Cupcakes with marshmallow fluff frosting topped with a Hershey bar (Honorable Mention).


robynschmittWinter Wonderland: Robin Schmitt’s vanilla cupcake topped by an edible peanut butter and nutella pine cone (Honorable Mention).


Lianna White“Healthiest Cupcake” Award: Lianna White’s gluten-free carrot raisin walnut cupcake.


nataliemccaskellLand of Unicorns: Natalie McCaskill-Meyers’s unicorn cupcakes won an Honorable Mention Award and “Best Youth Cupcake” Award.


judgesThe Hard Part: The judging begins!


judging2Tastes and Scents: The judging continues!


debbielazinskyCupcake Joy: Debbie Lazinsky of GreenStar Natural Foods Market samples the cupcake submissions.


alternativesfcuColoring Contest: Volunteers from Alternatives Federal Credit Union run the Coloring Contest for Under-8’s.


jacobparkercarverJacob Parker Carver of the Mental Health Association in Tompkins County sets up an interactive mental health quiz for attendees.


amyleviereAmy LeViere of the Community Foundation of Tompkins County welcomes the contestants.


IMG_9981Lee-Ellen Marvin, executive director of the Suicide Prevention & Crisis Service, thanks The Sophie Fund for being a catalyst for change in suicide prevention in Tompkins County.


yukojinguMeet the VIP Judges: Yuko Jingu (friend and co-worker of Sophie)


deleilanormanMeet the VIP Judges: Daleila Norman of GreenStar Natural Foods Market


ameliasauterMeet the VIP Judges: Amelia Sauter of Felicia’s Atomic Brewhouse and Bakery


Mary Sever Schoonmaker“Richest Cupcake” Award: Mary Sever Schoonmaker receives a GreenStar gift certificate for her chocolate zucchini cupcakes with meringue frosting garnished with cashew toffee bark.


tamaryndecacciotti copyShe’s No. 1: Tamarynde Cacciotti with her Grand Prize award for her cream puff cupcakes with Earl Grey pastry filling and mocha buttercream frosting.


mickiequinnThe Maestro: Event Producer Mickie Quinn

Cupcakes: Winners on Instagram

Follow The Sophie Fund on Instagram to see stunning photos of the winning cupcakes in the 2nd Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest. https://www.instagram.com/thesophiefund/


Geneva Moreland won the “Best Dressed Cupcake” award for a blackberry-filled chocolate cupcake with vegan cream cheese chocolate sage frosting topped with fresh sage #ithacacupcakes #cupcakes #ithacany #ithagram #twithaca @greenstar_coop @alternativesfcu @latourelle_ithaca @wafflefrolic @downtownithaca @ithacaispeople

Cupcakes: Special Awards

Contestants in the 2nd Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest on Saturday came up with innovative and fun designs and tastes—congratulations to these winners of Special Awards!

Best Youth Cupcake

Natalie McCaskill-Myers


Can’t Believe It’s Vegan!

Erica Brath


Most Unique Frosting

Amy Fuhr


Most Inspiring Cupcake

Beth Goelzer Lyons


Brightest Flavor

Star Utter


Best Theme

Patti Meyers (and Hudson)


Classiest Cupcake

Aušra Milano


Most International Cupcake

Maggie Chutter


Most Creative Flavor

Kim Englehart


Richest Cupcake

Mary Sever Schoonmaker


Fluffiest Cupcake

Lynn Sokolowski


Healthiest Cupcake

Lianna White


Most Locally Inspired Cupcake

Sadie Hays


Pretty in Pink

Hannah Cohn-Manik


Cutest Cupcake

Jessica Adams


Best Dressed Cupcake

Geneva Moreland


x-natalie copy

Natalie McCaskill-Myers’s entry: “Unicorn cupcake with an “S” for Sophie”—caramel coffee pumpkin with a cardamom cream cheese frosting



Erica Brath’s entry: Kirsch-flavored black forest cupcake with chocolate and cherry topping



Amy Fuhr’s entry: Vanilla cupcake filled with key lime pie on a graham cracker crust topped with meringue and a raspberry



Beth Goelzer Lyons’s entry: Chocolate chip cookie dough-filled vegan chocolate cupcake with cookie dough frosting and topped with a chocolate tree



Star Utter’s entry: Lemon cupcake with buttercream frosting



Patti Meyers’s entry: My Father’s Dragon Tangerina Cupcakes—tangerine-flavored cupcake with blue and white striped dragon decoration



Aušra Milano’s entry: Chocolate cupcakes with cocoa nibs, chocolate ganache filling, and rose-scented vanilla cream cheese frosting



Maggie Chutter’s entry: Baklava cupcakes—phyllo dough cupcake with honey cinnamon frosting



Kim Englehart’s entry: Chocolate bourbon cupcake with smoked coconut bacon, maple frosting and caramel bourbon sauce



Mary Sever-Schoonmaker’s entry: sea salt caramel-filled chocolate zucchini cupcake with chocolate meringue buttercream frosting garnished with cashew toffee bark



Lynn Sokolowski’s entry: White chocolate macadamia cupcake with raspberries and white chocolate buttercream frosting



Lianna White’s entry: Gluten-free carrot raisin walnut cupcake with a frosting made from cashews, cream cheese, vanilla and maple syrup



Sadie Hays’s entry: The Black Diamond—cabernet franc and raspberry ganache-filled chocolate cake with vanilla chevre frosting, topped with Indian Creek raspberries and a white chocolate “Cayuga Lake” sail



Hannah Cohn-Manik’s entry: Vanilla cupcake with raspberry meringue buttercream frosting



Jessica Adams’s entry: Chocolate cupcake with Oreo frosting



Geneva Moreland’s entry: Blackberry-filled chocolate cupcake with vegan cream cheese chocolate sage frosting topped with fresh sage