The following is a republished press release from The Sophie Fund and NOT written by the Ithaca Voice … click here to submit community announcements directly to The Voice, or contact us at

ITHACA, N.Y. —Tamarynde Cacciotti won the Grand Prize in the 2nd Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest held in the Ithaca Commons on Saturday. Her winning entry was a cream puff cupcake with Earl Grey pastry filling and mocha buttercream.

Second prize went to Ali Strongwater, who entered a pumpkin and crystalized ginger cupcake, with whipped brown sugar icing, and open star piped frosting topped with ginger slice and sugar ghost holding candy corn. Alexander Quilty captured third place with a chocolate raspberry-filled cupcake with a raspberry buttercream frosting.

Tamarynde Cacciotti’s winning entry, a cream puff cupcake with Earl Grey pastry filling and mocha buttercream. Provided Photo

The contest was organized by The Sophie Fund, established in memory of Cornell University art student Sophie Hack MacLeod to support mental health initiatives aiding young people in the greater Ithaca community.

GreenStar Natural Foods Market was the contest’s premier sponsor again this year. Alternatives Federal Credit Union also sponsored the event, and prizes were donated by La Tourelle Hotel, Bistro and Spa, and Waffle Frolic.

Various community organizations were on hand to participate in the contest, including the Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service and the Mental Health Association in Tompkins County.

Several student groups from Cornell University and Ithaca College also supported the contest. They included Active Minds at Ithaca College, and Cornell Minds Matter, Phi Sigma Pi, and Alpha Phi Omega–Gamma Chapter at Cornell. A related fundraising campaign by The Sophie Fund aided by Active Minds and Alpha Phi Omega raised about $1,000 for suicide prevention efforts in Tompkins County.

“We seek to improve the quality of life here by inspiring and supporting enduring philanthropy,” Amy LeViere, Philanthropic Services Officer of the Community Foundation of Tompkins County, said at the awards ceremony. “When I think of The Sophie Fund, that is exactly what they are doing here for young people in this community. The Sophie Fund is making a big difference.”

The list of top winners:

1st Prize

Tamarynde Cacciotti

2nd Prize

Ali Strongwater

3rd Prize

Alexander Quilty

Honorable Mention

Monica Cotto Zoë Dubrow

Katherine Estoque Melanie Hardy

Natalie McCaskill-Myers Robin Schmitt

For more information on the 2nd Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest, go to:

Featured image: Sophie Fund donor advisers Susan Hack and Scott MacLeod with Cornell University volunteers supporting the 2nd Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest