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Want to satisfy your sweet tooth while also helping others? Well, you won't have to wait till Valentine's Day to indulge in both.

Cupcakes for a Cure is hosting a Valentine's Day bake sale Wednesday in front of the library from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Cupcakes for a Cure is a nonprofit club at UCF that fundraises for children battling cancer. Proceeds from cupcake sales go straight to BASE Camp Children's Cancer Foundation. UCF alumna Nicole Edelstein, founder of the club, said more than $13,000 has been raised for pediatric cancer patients since the club started four years ago.

The club was started in 2011 by Edelstein and a group of LEAD Scholars students at UCF. As the official founder of Cupcakes for a Cure, Edelstein said the idea for the club came to her one night in her sleep.

"It all began after the grand realization that I wanted to make a difference while here at UCF," Edelstein said. "Cancer had affected everyone I knew in some shape or form, and I wanted to take charge and help."

According to St. Baldrick's Cancer Foundation, 175,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year worldwide, and in the United States, more children die of cancer than any other disease.

Edelstein has expanded Cupcakes for a Cure to the University of Florida and Cornell University, where she currently attends. Sales at Cornell University now also go to Sunrise Day Camp, the only summer camp for children with cancer.

Not only does Cupcakes for a Cure donate to cancer patients, but members also volunteer weekly at BASE Camp events and at Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital to spend time with patients.

Courtney Marks, a biotechnology major, is the recruitment director for the UCF Cupcakes for a Cure. She says the club is always looking for new volunteers to help with events or donate baked goods.

"The more volunteers we have, the more we can do for the children," Marks said. "Being part of Cupcakes for a Cure is really exciting, especially hosting events that are either going to raise money for the children or put a smile on their faces with activities for them. Plus, what's more appealing than being around cupcakes all day?"

Due to UCF policies, volunteers for the club can't bake the cupcakes themselves. Instead, they have vendors donate baked goods, with Perkins and Gordon Food Services donating for this week's event. In the true Valentine's Day spirit, Gordon Food Services will be donating red velvet cupcakes.

"Iv'e already rounded up about 200 baked goods from our vendors for tomorrow," said Sonal Patel, the current club president. "Anyone can donate anything, as long as it's packaged. We've got kids that donate 12 dozen cookies to our table."

Even if you don't have a sweet tooth, Edelstein welcomes any form of support, even if it's just spreading the word about Cupcakes for a Cure.

"This club made me realize how small my problems are and how we should be grateful for so much. There are families out there that need help and have it really tough," Edelstein said. "We want them to know we are there for them. We're trying to save lives, one cupcake at a time." ‚Äč

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Gina Avile is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future.

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