Tasty Cupcake Wars against Alzheimer’s

Published 10:09 pm Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Bakers enjoyed friendly competition while raising money for Alzheimer’s research in the “Cupcake Wars” held at the Lake Prince Woods Retirement Community on Saturday afternoon.

Six bakers brought more than a dozen flavors of cupcakes to the Portsmouth Room at Lake Prince Woods. This marked the third year that the cupcake competition was held to benefit the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Participants purchased $5 tickets and received a poker chip for each one. They tried each delicious cupcake at the event, and dropped their poker chips in the vase beside their favorite cupcake flavor. The winning prize went to the baker that had the most popular flavor.

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Denise Brown, resident services director at Lake Prince Woods and Walk to End Alzheimer’s volunteer, said it’s a fun competition that brings people together for a good cause.

“That always seems to bring out folks that are coming together for a great cause,” Brown said, “and then just socializing over sweets is a fun thing to do.”

“And who doesn’t love cupcakes?” added Lin Harbold, chair of the 2019 Western Tidewater Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Suffolk.

Participants dropped their chips with clinks and clanks into glass vases at each of the bakers’ tables. They enjoyed a swath of tasty flavors and talked amongst themselves about their favorites.

Lake Prince Woods Betty Dickinson was partial to the strawberry and buttercream cupcakes, made by sisters Rose, 18, and Hope, 15, Stanphill.

Dickinson said she enjoys having this cupcake competition each year at the retirement community.

“It’s always a treat,” she said, “and you’re donating towards something good, too. That’s what’s important.”

There were cupcakes with Oreos and others made of cheesecake. There were almond, lemon and pecan varieties that delighted taste buds.

Jeff Jacobs, a maintenance technician at Lake Prince Woods and one of the bakers on Saturday, put his own spin on the proceedings. His “cupcakes” were actually meatloaf servings inside cupcake wrappers, with mashed potato icing sprinkled with chives and served with ketchup.

“I made it with my daughter two years ago, and we just loved it,” Jacobs said.

The winning prize on Saturday was a plaque that reads “BAKERS gonna bake, bake, bake, bake,” riffing on Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.”

But the voting actually ended up in a tie between Robin Decker’s lemon cupcakes, and the cinnamon roll cupcakes made by Janette Johnson. Decker got her plaque on Saturday, while another is being ordered for Johnson.

Johnson is the owner of Just for Kicks Cupcakes & More in Surry, and her confections all share a “Wizard of Oz” theme, one of her favorite memories from childhood, she said. Tasters flocked to try out “The Wizard,” her cinnamon streusel cupcake with cookie butter frosting that tied for first place.

It was the first time that she and her husband, Tony Johnson, competed in Cupcake Wars. The family is personally invested in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, as Tony Johnson’s father suffered from the disease and died in 2017.

“He suffered from the disease, so anything we can do to contribute … we’re all in,” he said.

Cupcake Wars raised $866 in donations for the Walk as of Saturday afternoon. All of these donations will go towards the Walk’s Southeastern Virginia chapter, Harbold said, to fund research and find a cure.

The 2019 Western Tidewater Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be held on Sept. 14. The event this year will be held at YMCA Camp Arrowhead on Kenyon Road, moving from its previous location in years past at Constant’s Wharf Park and Marina on East Constance Road.

The Walk has raised $25,945 in fundraising towards this year’s goal of $88,000 as of Monday evening, with 110 participants and 44 teams registered.

Visit act.alz.org/walk or search “2019 Western Tidewater Walk to End Alzheimer’s” on Facebook for more information.