Each month, Central Penn Parent features a child who is doing great things. They pitch in to make a difference in their schools, places of worship and throughout their communities. They are a blessing to those around them—yet their efforts often go unrecognized. We want to thank them for a job well done! Each child receives a cape and a prize package from our sponsors.
After watching a bit of the show “D.C. Cupcakes,” 5-year-old Grace Gemberling decided she wanted to try her hand at baking.
Instead of making a batch for a snack, however, she decided to sell them to help children with cancer. Originally her goal was to earn $100 for the kids, but just 90 minutes into selling she had made $352.
Thus GracieCakes for Cancer was born.
To date Grace, now 7, and a first grader at Monroe Elementary School in the Cumberland Valley School District, has raised more than $2,000 for children with cancer and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“Kids are nice to me, so I want to be nice to them,” Grace explained.
Grace and her family realized the booster club didn’t sell cupcakes at games where her father was a coach, so she started out there and made her first $352 despite it being a rainy day.
Next, her parents set up a Facebook page to sell the cupcakes. “People sometimes just donate. They don’t always want cupcakes,” Grace said. “Even strangers donate.”
Although her favorite is red velvet, Grace prides herself on off-the-wall cupcakes, such as a cinnamon banana cupcake with apple.
Not all of her ideas pan out; she recently though about creating a “pine” flavor before realizing pine is a tree.
But others turn out wonderfully, and she’s even gotten help from her classmates.
For her birthday, she brought in two different types of cupcakes and let the class pick their favorite.
“She’s amazing. She’s just so selfless,” said Amy Loffredo, Grace’s teacher. “It’s very rare to see in first-graders. She’s just so loving.”
Loffredo said Grace is a leader in her class and she lives to make people happy. “If someone’s upset and I don’t know about it yet, Gracie takes care of it,” Loffredo said. “She once spent an indoor recess making valentines for her classmates.”
In her free time Grace said she enjoys reading, particularly “The Box Car Children” books.
In addition to cupcakes, Grace recently donated 11 inches of her hair to make wigs for children with cancer.
This year she hopes to get some new flavors out for her cupcake endeavor, including a cheesecake cupcake and a “cancer cupcake.” “The cancer cupcake is vanilla with pink coloring in it and a little ribbon on top of the icing,” Grace explained.
Her mom also unveiled to her an Oreo cookie, which featured a surprise Oreo cookie on the bottom. It’ll be on her menu next year as she tries to surpass last year’s total of $1,161.
Kurt Bopp is assistant editor/web at Central Penn Parent. Like Grace, his favorite kind of cupcake is red velvet.