happy birthday cupcake!
Meet Grace at the RICM's Annual Makers Event on June 26th and hear her amazing story on how she made baking meaningful!
DONATE FOR A CUPCAKE!
Partial proceeds of the entrance donations will go to 'Cupcakes for Cancer' charity for the American Cancer Society. Make a donation for a great cause and receive a cupcake!
An interview with 18 year-old Grace D’Antuono, founder of Cupcakes Against Cancer.
“People have come up to me and thanked me for what I’m doing. It really makes a difference. That’s what keeps me going.”
RICM: As a high-school student, you officially started the Cupcakes Against Cancer (CAC) project in March of 2013. What drove you to take it on and bring it to this level? What motivated you?
GRACE: I never had an immediate family member battle cancer if that’s what you mean. I did have friends and relatives who did. I found the website for the American Cancer Society and decided to help in some way. Being a high-school student kind of limited me, but I ended up choosing the American Cancer Society because their motto is, ‘Celebrate more birthdays.’ What better way to celebrate than with a cake or a cupcake, so my mom and little sister pitched right in, and Cupcakes Against Cancer (CAC) was launched. All my products are made by a certified food safety manager in a licensed commercial kitchen, and it has grown amazingly in two years. The most common requests I get from friends are for Chocolate Oreo and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. My personal favorites are Carrot Cake and Coconut. I am so grateful to all the people who have supported my efforts. People have come up to me and thanked me for what I’m doing. It really makes a difference. That’s what keeps me going.
RICM: Having been a student in high school, being involved in your extracurricular activities, and becoming an entrepreneur, how did you balance it all? What kept you going?
GRACE: Well, I certainly had to sharpen my time management skills. But really, I just needed to prioritize my classes, my afterschool activities and my baking. It wasn’t as difficult as it sounds. I had met so many survivors in my experiences with Cupcakes Against Cancer, and they were just really inspiring. They had terrible experiences, but they were really happy and had a positive attitude.
RICM: What does your team consist of? How many members, volunteers and contributors do you have to make
GRACE: I only have two unpaid volunteers plus my mom and my little sister. My biggest helper is Paul DiBiase, the owner of the bakery where I do my baking, and he is a lifesaver. He donates his commercial kitchen Great Harvest Bread Company free of charge to my cause. Of course, I bring my own ingredients, but I wouldn’t be able to get anything done without his help.
RICM: Having founded a nonprofit organization “Cupcakes Against Cancer,” where do you see yourself in five years from now? What are your future goals?
GRACE: I will be attending Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, majoring in International Relations paired with Poly Sci. I’m hoping to go into other global nonprofit efforts but not through the form of Cupcakes Against Cancer. Unfortunately, this organization will be ending as I enter college. The grant from Youth Services America late last summer gave me the opportunity to produce the cookbook “Recipes For Hope.”
RICM: How did you come up with developing your recipe book “Recipes For Hope” and why? How can we get a copy?
GRACE: My recipe book came about simply because friends and relatives asked me for the recipes of the cupcakes I was making. So I decided to make the book, but also included notes and quotes from cancer survivors and families of cancer survivors to remind those that are reading the recipes why the book exists to begin with. If people are interested in purchasing a copy of my cookbook, it is available on Amazon.com.
RICM: How excited are you to be part of the (RI Creative Magazine’s) Makers Event and learn that a portion of the proceeds of all donations will go to your charity?
GRACE: Oh my gosh! I am so excited to have been chosen to participate in the Makers Event, especially so because of the opportunity to receive a portion of the donations from the event. I never imagined that this kind of thing could happen. I am so thankful to Kimberly Sherman Leon, the Publisher of RI Creative Magazine, for helping me publicize my work and my cause.
by Joseph Shansky