For the sixth consecutive year, The Sweet Peace on Atlantic Avenue sold custom-made cupcakes to raise money for Chemo Comfort from June 3 through 6. The non-profit organization provides chemotherapy comfort kits to cancer patients.
“I think its beautiful,” Sweet Peace owner Allison Shapiro-Winterton said of the organization. “It’s 2018. If it hasn’t hit you personally, you know someone that cancer has hit.”
According to the Center for Disease Control, an estimated 650,000 patients receive chemotherapy each year. Those patients may experience hair loss, bone density loss and nausea as a result of the treatment.
To help cancer patients feel better as they undergo chemotherapy, Anne Marie Paolucci founded Chemo Comfort in 2003. The volunteer-based organization puts together kits containing teas and crystallized ginger for nausea, a meditation CD and a Blank Book for journaling or keeping track of medical information and symptoms.
The volunteers for the organization have to buy most of the products that go into the kits. So, in 2013, Paolucci contacted bakeries in the northeast and asked them to participate in her Cupcakes for Comfort fundraiser, which has since changed its name to Confections for Comfort.
As part of the fundraiser, bakeries designate one item for which proceeds would go to the organization. Paolucci said that the foundation does not tell the bakeries how much of the proceeds should go to the organization, but added that The Sweet Peace donates 100 percent of its profits each year.
In previous years, Shapiro-Winterton raised more than $1,000, and at the end of each fundraiser she matched whatever the bakery has generated.
This year, The Sweet Peace is selling a variety of cupcakes for $5 each, which is $1.50 more expensive than the cupcakes usually sell for. But, Shapiro-Winterton said, the extra cost is a donation, and that many customers are willing to pay a higher price for the cause. “I’ve had customers who come in and spend quadruple what they would,” she said. “It touches every single person that walks through the doors.”
She added that she would like to double the amount she raised last year, and sell at least 400 cupcakes. “Help us meet our goal,” Shapiro-Winterton said.
The bakery is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Chemo Comfort kits cost $140, which covers the cost of the supplies and the shipping. Chemotherapy patients can purchase a kit at a reduced cost from the organization’s website at www.chemocomfort.org.