By Haleigh Whisted
The Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority held an event Sunday afternoon at Maryland Hillel to raise money for Sharsheret, an organization which aids Jewish families affected by breast cancer. The fundraiser included a cupcake decorating contest and raffles.
The event, titled “AEPhi Cupcake Wars”, was organized by Paige Rogoff, the vice president of philanthropy at AEPhi, and Talia Orencel, the director of engagement and social justice at Maryland Hillel.
Rogoff mentioned that Sharsheret “focuses a lot on Jewish women, but it also is not exclusionary to other people, and will donate to anyone, and it’s more for awareness and understanding of the situations.”
Many people showed up to participate and watch the cupcake decorating event. Participants had to be in a team of five. Each team got six cupcakes for each round to decorate, according to the theme that was announced. The first round’s theme was Netflix, and the second theme was seasons. At the end of each round, a winner was chosen.
“Decorating cupcakes is so fun […] and if we could do anything to help any other philanthropy in any other sorority, why not? We would want them to help us,” said Ashley Hay, a freshman pre-dental major and a member of the Kappa Delta sorority. Hay and her team chose to make a “pull-apart cupcake-cake” with the famous sitcom “Friends” logo across the cupcakes.
Some cupcake decorators also had personal connections to the cause of the event. Hay stated that her mom’s side of the family has dealt with breast cancer before. Rogoff and Jessica Zenn, a senior communications major and a member of AEPhi, both dealt with their grandmothers suffering from breast cancer.
“[My grandmother] is a survivor… and this summer she had a possible relapse and I went with her to the doctors and she is totally fine now,” said Rogoff. “This cause is definitely close to heart for me.”
Another participant, Ashley, a women’s studies and government and politics double major and member of Delta Phi Epsilon, said, “I thought it would be fun and cool, and different from other philanthropy events.” Her team chose to decorate their cupcakes with colorful string lights, based off the Netflix drama “Stranger Things,” using icing and candy.
Inside the Hillel Center, a raffle table was set up with little bowls filled with tickets and various prizes. “You pay money to get a raffle ticket and then you put as many tickets in as you want and then at the end we are going to pick them out and you will get the prize,” explained Rachel Tuman, a communications major and member of AEPhi. The prizes included bumper stickers and restaurant gift cards to local places like Bagels ‘n Grinds.
Along with the other activities, there was also a photo booth present with various accessories on a table nearby for participants to take silly photos with friends.
“It has been really fun. I like the music and everyone’s cupcakes look great,” said Zenn. Her team turned their cupcakes into the word “chill” with each letter on its own cupcake, to go with the theme and the word “Netflix.” On the first of the six cupcakes, a “boy and girl sour patch kid” sit together in front of a TV-drawing made of icing.