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Auntie Cathie’s Kitchen Supports Cancer House of Hope in October

WEST SPRINGFIELD — During October, to recognize and promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Cathie Cappa, owner of Auntie Cathie’s Kitchen at 217 Elm St. in West Springfield, will donate all proceeds from sales of her gluten-free and 100% vegan Cleavage Cup Cakes to the Center for Human Development’s (CHD) Cancer House of Hope in West Springfield.

“Cleavage Cup Cakes are chocolate with raspberry frosting and a fluffy pink coconut feather boa to keep the cleavage rated PG-13. They’re medium-size, so I guess that makes them C cups,” Cappa said with a laugh. “They will be available all month long. They’re $3 each, so come in and buy a bunch for your family, friends, co-workers, and customers. If you can, donate some extra because we’re giving it all to Cancer House of Hope.”

What inspires Cappa to raise donations for Cancer House of Hope through baking? “It’s just such a good thing to do,” she explained. “My mother, who is 78, is a breast-cancer survivor. I am, too. When I first went over there to Cancer House of Hope, I didn’t really know all they did, but I quickly found out there’s so much. If you lose your hair during chemo, like I did, there’s a room with wigs, nice ones, you can just have. Wigs can cost hundreds of dollars, but they’re free at Cancer House of Hope. They also offer Reiki — I did that — and yoga and massage. And there are always people there you can talk to who ‘get it.’ That’s so amazing.”

Going from personal experience, Cappa knows that getting a cancer diagnosis is a scary, life-changing experience. “But you can go to Cancer House of Hope, and that’s what it is, a nice white house that’s like home. There’s a kitchen like home, there are couches like home, and there are people to help you get through something that’s hard for everyone, whether the cancer patient is you or someone you love. That’s what Cancer House of Hope does for people. It made such a difference for me. I just got my bloodwork done, and everything is clear, so I’m in remission. It’s exciting. I’ve gained some weight, and my hair grew back. I feel good. I’m just so eager to help Cancer House of Hope help others.”

There’s plenty of negative things happening in the world right now, Cappa went on, “but instead of being sad about it, I decided that this is my little corner of the world, and I can try to add as much good to it as I can. I wish I could donate millions to Cancer House of Hope — and if somebody else can, please do — but I’m thrilled to help by baking good food and helping people have fun. So I invite everyone to come to Auntie Cathie’s Kitchen and do something fun for yourself while you do something good for others. They’re your neighbors, even if you don’t know them, and they’re people who need support at a very difficult time.”

Auntie Cathie’s Kitchen is an example of how one local business is using its resources to make a difference for a nonprofit like CHD’s Cancer House of Hope, said Kimberley Lee, vice president, Office of Advancement at CHD.

“Cash isn’t the only way for a business to help. In the case of Auntie Cathie’s Kitchen, Cathie Cappa is taking something she has an abundance of — talent, flour, and sugar — to create something that is fun and people like to eat,” Lee said. “With that as inspiration, every local business should be asking, ‘what do we have an abundance of, and how could we use it creatively to help individuals and families who are dealing with cancer?’ Ask your employees for their input, create your company’s plan, and make it happen.”

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