Cupcakes to battle cancer


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October 4, 2016 12:00 AM

SWEET! The Lloydminster and District Co-op and Lloydminster Region Health Foundation started their joint annual Cupcakes for a Cause campaign yesterday, where proceeds from cupcakes sold go to the Lloydminster hospital's mammography program. The campaign kicked off with a cupcake decorating contest that saw Const. Grant Kirzinger, Fire Chief Jordan Newton, LRHF CEO Wendy Plandowski and CEO of the Co-op, Don Stephenson, vie for the top decorator spot.

The cupcakes might go straight to your waistline, but the cash spent on them goes straight to the Lloydminster Hospital’s mammography program, so it’s an honourable trade off.
This year marks the ninth time Lloydminster and District Co-op teamed up with the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation (LRHF) for the Cupcakes for a Cause promotion, where $2 from every six-pack and $.50 from every two-pack of cupcakes sold goes to the LRHF, who then put it toward the above mentioned cause.
The kickoff for the event was a little different this year with a cupcake decorating contest that saw Fire Chief Jordan Newton, Const. Grant Kirzinger, CEO of the LRHF Wendy Plandowski and Co-op CEO Don Stephenson go toe-to-toe with their pastry beautifying skills.
Plandowski took the cake at the contest, which was judged by local media members, and explained the importance of the campaign after winning the intense match.
“We have a mammography program at the Lloydminster Hospital, and so for nine years now the Co-op has donated all of the proceeds from their Cupcakes for a Cause back to the mammography program so that women can get screened and diagnosed right here in their own community for breast cancer,” said Plandowski.
“I think years ago women could only go to Edmonton or Saskatoon for a mammography screening, and there is a travelling truck that’s great and comes around, but for our doctors to be able to just send someone locally to the hospital, I think that means it’s saving lives.”
She added one of the nice things about the cupcake campaign is it not only raises much needed funds, but also works to raise awareness about the importance of early breast cancer screening.
Every year more women go to the hospital for screening, 17 per cent year over year according to Plandowski, which shows the how important the mammography program is for the community.
The money raised by Cupcakes for a Cause goes toward equipment and added education for healthcare workers that work in the program.
“Education is important for our healthcare workers at the hospital to have the latest training and that kind of thing, so that’s one of the things that the foundation really prides itself on is innovation and equipment, but also in professional development, so we really try to help out with both of those aspects,” Plandowski said.
Plandowski, who holds the cause near to her heart as a breast cancer survivor herself, said the campaign has raised more than $13,000 in its near decade of existence, showing the generosity and support of the Lloydminster community.
Co-op CEO Don Stephenson was also on hand after the decorating contest and spoke to his organization’s partnership with the LRHF.
“I think it’s a great way to show our support to the health foundation; it’s certainly gained momentum over the last nine years, so we’re excited to be a co-sponsor and also bring the health foundation, the efforts and the work they do, bring it to the fore,” he said.
As for why it was decided to have a cupcake decorating contest as a kickoff this time around, Stephenson joked he’d been practising his skills all year and holding the event would allow him to show his prowess, which obviously didn’t come to light after taking a loss to Plandowski.
Fire Chief Jordan Newton gave a ribbing to Const. Kirzinger after the showdown, saying if it were a doughnut decorating challenge, the police officer would have won.
But in all seriousness, Stephenson said, “We were looking for something a little different to kick off the campaign and this was just a great event—thanks to Wendy and Jordan and Grant, for coming down to help support this as well.”
Those looking to buy some cupcakes for the cause can grab six-packs at the Lloydminster Co-op Marketplace, and two-packs are available at the same location as well as 18th Street Crossing Co-op Gas Bar, Ironwells Co-op Gas Bar and the newest location, Hampton Square Co-op Gas Bar on Hwy. 16 West.

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