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Baking up a big batch of fundraising

This wasn’t your run-of-the-mill bake sale.

When three Conestogo girls planned last weekend’s sidewalk bake sale they knew it was go big or go home. Ella Vrbanac, Karly Vrbanac, and Holly Bromberg decided to sell a variety of baked treats with all proceeds going to the Canadian Cancer Society, as a way to show support for the family and friends who’ve lost loved ones to cancer.

Holly Bromberg, Ella Vrbanac, and Karly Vrbanac put their baking skills to good use last weekend, raising more than $1,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society.[Whitney Neilson / The Observer]
Holly Bromberg, Ella Vrbanac, and Karly Vrbanac put their baking skills to good use last weekend, raising more than $1,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society. [Whitney Neilson / The Observer]
What they never expected was the outpouring of support from the community, raising $1,060, with more donations still trickling in.

“This year we’ve had a couple family friends pass away of cancer and we wanted to do something to give back to them,” Ella said.

She said they thought of the idea a few months ago and started preparing about six weeks in advance. The girls put their love of baking to good use, filling up the freezer in advance. Their moms note at any given time the girls are busy baking.

And when Saturday morning came –  6:45 a.m., to be exact – they set up their wares out front, with napkins and a tablecloth in blue and yellow to match the Canadian Cancer Society’s logo.

“It was an early morning,” Ella said. “It was fun. We were in our winter jackets with blankets. By 1 o’clock in the afternoon when we closed it was much warmer.”

“It was really exciting,” Karly chimed in.

The girls spread the word by handing out flyers, posting on Facebook, and sharing on their BBM statuses. Holly also texted everyone in her address book. They planned the event on the same day as the community garage sale, to attract more people, too.

“We had lots of people from the neighborhood. People came from out of Conestogo, as well,” Ella said.

“Some of my friends from my dance came,” Karly added.

The community’s generosity far exceeded their original goal. And when people came to buy something, they didn’t ask for their change – even coming back later to buy more or give a donation.

“Our goal was actually $400, so we got way over what we hoped,” Ella said.

Since baking is one of their favourite hobbies to do together, they made an assortment of goodies, which were all sold.

“We made cupcakes. We did a candy bar, which was a lot of fun. A lot of kids liked that,” Ella said.

“I made some decorative flowers,” Holly added.

“We made brownies and cookies. We did pink lemonade,” Karly said.

They foresee more bake sales in their future, and note how fun it was to run the fundraiser and bake together. And they haven’t forgotten the importance of the cause they’re supporting.

“I know a lot of friends and people that lost their grandparents and sometimes parents to cancer and I thought it would be nice to help out people that still have cancer,” Holly said.

The original inspiration came when Karly’s best friend’s uncle passed away and she enlisted Ella and Holly to help support the search for a cure.

“I am happy that we did this because one of my friends, one of their uncles passed away from cancer,” Karly said.

As for Ella, she’s proud of what they accomplished, with much gratitude to the people who came out and donated.

“For me it means a lot to be able to do this and I’ve always wanted to do something for the community, so it finally happened and I had two amazing people to do it with,” Ella said.

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