When she was seven, Blakely Colvin had to endure three years of chemotherapy to counter the effects of a rare auto-immune disease, but her empathy for child cancer patients really kicked-in when she was in eighth grade and heard about another student her age who was diagnosed with leukemia and forced to quit school to battle the cancer. Without even knowing the boy, she decided to help his family and give him a reason to smile again.
Her inspiration came from her love of baking and cupcakes. Her desire to “make a difference in the life of just one cancer kid” has in five years blossomed into a cupcake charity empire spanning fifteen states that has raised more than $85,000 to help children like Kevin.
This month she was named one of 15 Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes and awarded $10,000 in cash and a $7,500 educational scholarship for her outstanding work.
Her original goal was to raise $1,000 by selling cupcakes after school for $1 each. The bake sales were a huge success which surprised everybody, especially when they raised $5,000 in just 6 weeks.
Her parents helped her get a huge banner imprinted with her mission, “Cupcakes for Cancer” and the motto, “Children making a sweet difference one crumb at a time”. They had aprons printed up to wear when selling the confectionary treats. And, Kevin, who eventually lost all his hair, ended up frosting and decorating endless amounts of cupcakes, smiling all the while.
The group’s signature event is its Santa Barbara Cupcake Camp, designed like an adult wine tasting but with cupcake vendors instead. In its first year, the event, which also included a competition and fashion show, attracted over 900 people and raised $10,000 in one day.
Since 2007, her dedication has led to the granting of seven wishes for kids with cancer through the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and has provided two $1,000 college scholarships to deserving teens.
“The feeling that came form helping and giving hope was really awesome and rewarding,” she said. “It made me not want to stop donating.”
She inspires others to bake and donate, offering “bake sale starter kits” and connecting “Cupcake Angels” around the country on her website, www.cupcakesforcancer.org
Blakely joins 4 boys and 10 other girls, all remarkable youth from the United States and Canada named as 2012 Huggable Heroes, who have demonstrated outstanding community leadership and service. The Good News Network will feature all of these Heroes over the next two weeks on our Great Kids page.