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Everyone Wins in Hillcrest Hospital Cupcake Wars

Event raised money for American Heart Association

Ariella Payne of Lakewood, who is 35 weeks pregnant, was at on Thursday to see her doctor and was greeted by the welcome sight of cupcakes. One of her choices was a popcorn and peanut butter concoction.

"It just looked gooey and good," she said.

The cupcakes were made by hospital employees, friends, relatives and some professional bakers for Cupcake Wars, a benefit for the American Heart Association. About 800 cupcakes were sold for $2.50 each or six for $12.

Organizers of the event were Joyce Poplar, a registered nurse in the Childhood Education Department; Lorena Hewitt, manager of Cardiopulmonary Services; and Mary Ozello, an X-ray technologist in the Radiology Department.

"I was flipping through channels, saw Cupcake Wars and thought that would be a great idea," Ozello said.

Entry fee cost $10 and contestants provided two dozen cupcakes. Several popular entries sold out within the first 15 minutes, prompting talk of bringing the benefit back next year.

"We kind of decided that it should be an annual event. Maybe do it on a Saturday so we can involve the community," Ozello said. She added that they might also publish the entry recipes in a cookbook.

Eating their way through 18 to 20 cupcakes each were judges Tim and Stephanie Misny, Larry Morrow, Stefanie Paganini, nurse manager Katie Vriczeri and Hewitt.

"This is the best day of my life," joked Vriczeri, who cut off part of the cupcakes to sample and saved the rest to share with co-workers.

Top prize was $50 in cash, but the competition was more about bragging rights and raising money for charity.

The winning cupcakes were:
• Overall – Buttermilk chocolate cake with peanut butter cream cheese frosting by Lisa Geisheimer
• Specialty – Banana with peanut butter cream and chocolate frosting by Lytle Dally/Miller
• Professional – Pink lemonade champagne by Amanda Kish
• Youth – Chocolate peanut butter by Haylee Darr
• Anything Goes – Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting by Tami Millitello
• Heart Healthy – Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting by Lytle Dally/Miller

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