By Mike LaBella
---- — When Kailin Brandon heard about the Boston Marathon bombings, she was sad, but then became angry and decided to do something to help the victims.
Kailin, 12, likes to bake, and recently attended a cake decorating class offered at a local crafts store. So she decided to make custom-decorated cupcakes and sell them to raise money for the marathon victims.
It’s turning out to be far more than a token effort. Kailin, a seventh-grader at Methuen’s Comprehensive Grammar School, has raised nearly $1,000 from orders and donations from customers who gave extra. Her cupcakes sell for $2 each.
The money she raises will go to One Fund Boston, which was established by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Gov. Deval Patrick to help the people most affected by the bombings.
“At first, I thought I’d get maybe 100 or 200 orders, but I never thought I’d get this many,” Kailin said yesterday, explaining the order total was approaching 400. “I think people know it’s going to a good cause. A lot of people gave extra.”
Kailin is among several local people and organizations in the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire stepping forward to raise money for the cause. They include a youth running group and a supermarket worker with a donation box that is filling up with cash for One Fund Boston.
Taking over the family kitchen
Using primarily email and her mother’s Facebook page, Kailin’s cupcake idea has generated so many orders that she’s taken over her family’s kitchen and even drafted her 15-year-old brother, Kyle, to help her with baking.
Her emails carry the subject line “Cupcakes for a Cause” and include pictures of the four types of cupcakes she makes. Her customers can choose from chocolate, red velvet, yellow or white cake cupcakes and have them decorated in themes of the Green Monster, Boston Strong, Sunflower or Rainbow Swirl.
Kailin’s mother, Joyce Brandon, said her daughter and son were talking to her a week ago about the events in Boston and how it would make them feel good if they could help in some way.
“I suggested making cupcakes and said we could sell them to our family, and maybe my husband could take some to work and sell them,” Joyce Brandon said.
She said Kailin began sketching cupcake designs on paper that night. Kailin began baking last Friday and continues the cupcake work daily.
“As soon as she gets home from school, she begins baking and decorating her cupcakes to fill orders,” said her mother, who drives her to deliver the cupcakes to her customers.
Businesses, celebrities do their part
At Haverhill’s Market Basket in Riversedge Plaza, employees and customers have been stuffing money into a wooden box placed at the courtesy desk by store employee Carina Cunningham of Haverhill. She was looking for an easy way for people to donate to One Fund Boston, without them having to go online.
“I used to run in charity races in high school and I thought about what if this had happened in one of the races I’d run in,” Cunningham said. “I set up the box last week and have already raised almost $300 thanks to managers, workers and customers. To get that much in less than a week exceeded my expectations.”
She said that after getting her store manager’s permission to raise money, she bought a wooden box at a craft store and her grandfather painted it pale yellow, a color that appears on the “Boston Strong’’ logo.
“I added a picture of the ‘Boston Strong’ ribbon on a sign above the box and a note saying donations are for One Fund Boston,” she said.
In Derry, La LaCarreta Mexican restaurant is raising money for Jeff Bauman, who lost both his legs in the marathon bombing.
Last weekend, the restaurant donated 20 percent of its sales. Owner Eddie Leon also is holding two raffles, with all proceeds going to help Bauman.
A framed, autographed photo of Tom Brady will be raffled off, with a limited number of $50 tickets being sold. For $20, customers can buy a raffle ticket for a signed, framed Rob Gronkowski jersey. People can stop by the restaurant at 35 Manchester Road to participate. More information is available at gofundme.com/bucksforbauman.
Red Sox slugger David Ortiz will be at the restaurant Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for an autograph session to raise money. New England Picture will raffle off a four-pack of tickets to the Red Sox-Houston Astros game Sunday, with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit the Jeff Bauman Fund. Visit Newenglandpicture.com to buy Ortiz tickets.
In Lawrence, musician and record producer Bylli Crayone has put together the “Boston Charity Album,” a collection of music from local and national acts to raise money for the marathon victims
Tracks include “I Can’t Wait” from Musical Youth, “Anytime” from Nu Shooz, “All My Tears” by Jill Marc, “What’s Love Got To Do With it” from Leo A. Dion, and Crayone with a new remix of his 1991 song “Girl Hang It Up!” The album is available in CD format only and is being sold at $20 with free shipping. All the proceeds are going to One Fund Boston. More on the CD is available at bostoncharityalbum.com.
Runners, races raise cash
At Bradford Elementary School in Haverhill, the 60-member Bradford Huskies USA Track & Field Youth Travel Team is raising money for One Fund Boston by selling custom-made Boston Marathon pride bracelets.
“We’re starting with 600 and already have about half sold,” said Huskie’s head coach Matt Castonguay. “If we run out, we will order more.”
Castonguay said a few parents approached him with the idea of holding a fundraiser explaining that the Boston Athletic Association, which holds the Boston Marathon, also supports the Huskies by hosting the Mayor’s Cup Races in October, which the Huskies compete in.
“A lot of our parents are runners, and one of our team parents ran in this year’s marathon,” Castonguay said. “It felt right as we are involved in the sport of running.”
The bracelets feature the 2013 Boston Marathon colors of yellow and blue, along with the words “Huskies Love Boston” in the Huskies team color of maroon. Bracelets are $3 each, with $2.50 per sale going to One Fund Boston. Bracelets can be ordered in any amount by contacting the Huskies at email@example.com. Castonguay can be reached at 978-374-2443 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other area runners are taking up the cause by participating in local races that will be donating to One Fund Boston.
St. Joseph School of All Saints Parish in Haverhill will hold its fourth annual 5-K Run and 1.5-mile Fun Run and Walk on Sunday, and the race committee plans to donate $1 from every race registration to help the victims of the marathon bombings.
The event begins at 12:30 p.m. at the school, 56 Oak Terrace. Free T-shirts will be given to the first 200 registrants and free lunch will be provided to all participants. Prizes will be awarded to top male and female finishers in all categories. Registration closes tomorrow. More information is available online at www.sjshav.com.
Northern Essex Community College will donate a portion of the proceeds from its first Campus Classic 5K and Fun Run on May 4 to One Fund Boston.
The USATF certified 5K race will begin at 10 a.m. on NECC’S Haverhill campus, 100 Elliott St., and will wind through the rural campus and the surrounding residential neighborhood.
Online registration is open until Monday. More information is available from Lindsey Mayo at email@example.com or 978-556-3621.
To register online visit www.necc.mass.edu/campus-classic.