This is a community announcement from The Sophie Fund. It was not written by The Ithaca Voice. To submit news releases, email

ITHACA, N.Y. — The 4th Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest will be held in the Ithaca Commons on Saturday, Oct. 19.

Contestants of all ages are invited to enter this year’s competition, who will be eligible for dozens of prizes including a Grand Prize valued at $250. The contest is open to amateur bakers only. The winner of this year’s Special Youth Award (for 18 and under) will receive a $100 gift certificate redeemable at dozens of downtown Ithaca shops.

“Year after year, we’ve seen Ithacans come out with their amazing cupcakes to have some fun and also to help spread greater awareness about the importance of mental health,” said Susan Hack, a co-founder of The Sophie Fund. “We can’t wait to see the latest concoctions!”

The 4th Annual Ithaca Cupcake Baking Contest is sponsored by the GreenStar Natural Foods Market, Alternatives Federal Credit Union, and Cayuga Medical Center.

The contest is also supported by Active Minds at Ithaca College, Active Minds at Ithaca High School, and several student organizations at Cornell University, including: Alpha Phi Omega Gamma Chapter service fraternity; Phi Sigma Pi honor fraternity; Cornell Minda Matter; the Pre-Professional Association Towards Careers in Health, and Mortar Board Der Hexenkreis Senior Honor Society.

“We’re grateful for the tremendous support that goes into making the cupcake contest a reality, from GreenStar, Alternatives, and Cayuga Medical Center, and from the student organizations who are so passionate about mental health awareness,” said Scott

MacLeod, a co-founder of The Sophie Fund. “And we’re in awe of the Ithacans who support the contest with their cupcakes, including some contestants who return every year.”

To enter the cupcake contest, contestants are asked to bring their submissions to the Bernie Milton Pavilion on the Ithaca Commons from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 19. The winners will be announced and prizes awarded at a ceremony in the Pavilion later the same day at 3 p.m.

In conjunction with the contest, The Sophie Fund is again organizing a “Cupcake Button” fundraising campaign, with monies donated this year to the Advocacy Center of Tompkins County. The Advocacy Center fights sexual assault and domestic violence and empowers and supports survivors.

The contest is organized by The Sophie Fund, which was established in 2016 in memory of Cornell University art student Sophie Hack MacLeod to support mental health initiatives aiding young people. Sophie’s passion for baking cupcakes inspired the launch of the contest in 2016. At the time of her death by suicide at age 23, while on a health leave of absence from Cornell, Sophie was active in Ithaca’s vibrant culinary scene and hoped to open her own bakery after completing her degree.

For all the information on contest procedures and rules, and to download a registration form, go to the “Cupcake Contest” page at The Sophie Fund’s website:

Featured image courtesy of The Sophie Fund.

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