SIMONE VIRZI — News Writer
Pirate funfetti, Oreo, and chocolate root beer float were just a few cupcakes offered last Thursday, April 19, at the Cupcakes for Cancer fundraiser, hosted by Southern’s Anime Society.
According to Megan O’Lena, a member of the club, the money raised at the event will be donated to This Star Won’t Go Out, a non-profit organization in Massachusetts.
“We wanted to choose someone who is New England-based,” O’Lena said, adding local foundations tend to have more trouble obtaining donations than national foundations.
According to the website, the foundation “was established in memory of 16-year-old Esther Earl, an avid Nerdfighter and passionate Harry Potter Alliance fan. Her online friends and causes met many of the social and emotional needs in her life, hampered as she was by her progressing thyroid cancer.”
Out of all the organizations to donate to, O’Lena said This Star Won’t Go Out stood out to her and other members of the Anime Society.
“Why not pick someone we identify with?” she said. “Esther was a nerd; she was very into Harry Potter.”
Although Southern is not a culinary school, O’Lena said it was “important to us to really look professional.” She also said the cupcake fundraiser had dairy-free and gluten-free cupcakes, so there were enough options so everyone could enjoy them.
O’Lena said her goal was to draw students to their tables, which were set up in the Engleman rotunda. She also wanted the cupcake sale to stand out from a standard bake sale at Southern.
Senior Katrina Donzello also helped at the Cupcakes for Cancer fundraiser. As one of the event coordinators, said she liked the fact the Anime Society was selling cupcakes because they can easily be decorated.
She said she and O’Lena spent about six hours making the cupcakes, from baking to decorating over the course of two days.
Unlike regular cupcakes, Donzello said they had a “nerdier theme” because they wanted the cupcakes to be specific to the club. The cupcakes were decorated in a variety of ways, including a black mustache, a Pokemon ball and anime characters.
Although this is the Anime Society’s first time organizing a fundraiser for This Star Won’t Go Out, O’Lena said she hopes the group can host an event once a year or once a semester.
Donzello said she would like the Anime Society to continue to give back to the same charity in the future; the cupcake sale was “not hard to put together,” and the money is going to a good cause.
According to its website, “The purpose of This Star Won’t Go Out foundation is to financially assist families struggling through the journey of a child with cancer. Caring for a seriously ill child creates tremendous stress for the family system, and having to worry about money is both burdensome and distracting. TSWGO’s goal is to carry a bit of that burden for hurting families through financial gifts.”
The website also said Earl died on Aug. 25, 2010.
Sarah Beaudry stopped by the cupcake tables and donated to the foundation. She picked out one chocolate root beer float and two brownie cupcakes, which is essentially a brownie in a cupcake form, according to O’Lena.
“I saw [the cancer for cupcakes event] on Southern events and wanted to check it out,” she said, adding she thought the Anime Society was donating to a good cause.
She also said she came because she likes cupcakes.
The Anime Society will also be hosting an event on Friday called Magic: The Tournament, which will include a card game tour, video games, movies and food, according to O’Lena. The entrance fee is $10, and all proceeds will also be donated to This Star Won’t Go Out. It is scheduled to take place from 5-10 p.m. in rooms 303 and 305 in the Adanti Student Center.
O’Lena said she would like to raise $500 for the foundation.