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Nine-year-old baker makes cupcakes for a cause

Friday, August 12, 2011

(Photo contributed) Jacenta Sargisson, 9, of rural Le Mars, is auctioning off two dozen of her homemade butterfly cupcakes to raise money for an organization that helps babies with epidermolysis bullosa and their families. Sargisson is holding the auction on Facebook in honor of her former teacher's daughter, Macie, who was born in 2007 with the disease and died six months later. On Saturday, Macie's family is hosting Maciefest, an annual 5K walk/run to raise money to fight EB.
A 9-year-old Le Mars girl is adding some sweetness to efforts to help babies born with a rare skin disease.

Fourth grader Jacenta Sargisson, the daughter of Korey and Julie Sargisson, is auctioning off two dozen of her homemade cupcakes on Facebook.

The money she makes will all go to an organization that helps babies with epidermolysis bullosa (EB), also known as "butterfly babies" because their skin is extremely fragile.

Jacenta's second grade teacher and her husband, Katie and John Majeres, of Le Mars, had a daughter named Macie who was born with EB in 2007 and lived for only six months.

"It's very sad," Jacenta said. "They won't get to see her again until they go to heaven."

Since then, the Majeres have held an annual run/walk to raise money for Debra, an organization that works with families of "butterfly babies" and researches for a cure.

Jacenta and her family have participated in the fundraisers several years, but this year they are going to be out of town for the Maciefest 5K Run/Walk, which is this Saturday.

"Since we aren't going to be there, we thought we could make butterfly cupcakes and sell them," Jacenta said.

The 9 year old has recently developed a passion for cake decorating.

One night, she was flipping through the channels on TV when she stumbled upon Cake Boss, a show about baking and decorating crazy cakes -- some even 14 feet long, Jacenta said.

She was inspired.

"She came to me and said, 'Mom, I want some fondant,'" Jacenta's mother Julie Sargisson said. "I didn't even know what that was. Mom's learning a whole lot right with her."

Fondant is a thick, moldable frosting used to create elaborate cake decorations.

Jacenta's first cake was for her dad for Father's Day.

"My dad loves fishing, so I made him a cake with bubbles and a fishing line and a fish just about to bite into it," she said.

Jacenta also made a Hawaii-themed cake for her grandpa, featuring a palm tree, coconuts, sand and even a shark fin slicing through cool blue water.

For her grandmother's 60th birthday, she shaped a cake into flip flop sandals.

Is cake decorating a future career for the fourth grader? Jacenta thinks so.

"She's already starting to come up with names for her own business," Julie said. "And she told me we should remodel the basement into a kitchen so she has more space."

So it's no wonder the cupcakes Jacenta will make to raise money for "butterfly babies" will come with a little Jacenta-flair.

Atop each one will be perched a butterfly, with wings made out of pretzels, licorice antennae and a peanut M&M for a head.

"You can decorate them whatever color you want -- pink, yellow..." Jacenta said.

The cupcakes themselves will be white with rainbow sprinkles, she added.

The butterfly pastries already have caught several people's eye.

On Jacenta's mom's Facebook page, the bids are already rolling in. People bid by sending Julie a Facebook message or posting a note on her Facebook page. Julie is keeping all the bidders apprised of where the bidding is at.

The bidding ends at noon Sunday, Aug. 21, so people still have a chance at the butterfly cupcakes.

As of Friday morning, the highest bid was $120.

Jacenta said she felt pretty good about that.

"It really helps," she said. "I think my teacher's daughter and God are looking down on us, and they're really happy."

For more information, people can contact Julie at 712-533-6088.

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What a great story!

-- Posted by jilzy101 on Fri, Aug 12, 2011, at 5:06 PM

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