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With a friend’s recent diagnosis of leukemia, West Hancock High School senior Nora Clark decided to sell cupcakes to raise money to help with her friend’s medical expenses.

Clark had a cupcake business in middle school, which she started when she was in sixth grade but had gone down a little bit. When she was thinking of what she could do to raise money to help her friend, Clark said she thought she would try her cupcake business again.

On Sept. 29, Clark posted on her mom’s Facebook page, Melinda Hansen Clark, she was selling cupcakes to raise money for medical expenses for her friend, Alma Padilla, who was recently diagnosed with cancer.

Clark is selling six different cupcake flavors – pumpkin, chocolate mint, chocolate chocolate, breakfast, strawberry bliss and lemon poppy seed – at half a dozen for $8. So far she has sold 504 cupcakes and raised about $750 between the orders and some freewill donations.

Cupcake orders were due by Oct. 1, but Clark said she will still accept some orders, since people are still posting their orders on Facebook, which is how people can order them.

“I really don’t know [how long I’ll be doing this],” Clark said.

Her mother said after they finish the orders placed before Oct. 1, they’ll be making more cupcakes on a by-order basis, if someone orders cupcakes for a big event like a party.

Clark said she chose to do the fundraiser for Padilla because they took CNA classes together and they worked together at Westview Care Center for a while, and so they became good friends.

“Then she got diagnosed with cancer, and [Padilla’s family has] been trying to do different fundraisers, so I thought I would try to do one to,” she said.

All the proceeds from her cupcake sales will go directly to Padilla’s family.

“That family is so gracious and they’re such a kind, sweet family,” Melinda said. “They’re so appreciative, so that makes it all worth it right there.”

Though she can make about three dozen cupcakes in a couple hours, Clark said she got one order of about 40 dozen cupcakes, and she started making that right away after getting home from school at about 3 p.m. and didn’t shut the oven off until about 1 a.m. that night.

“I don’t really know [how I balance this with school],” she said. “Just help from my family, and my mom helped a lot. She used to make wedding cakes for people, so she helped with frosting and stuff.”

Clark said she was amazed by the large response she got from her Facebook post, saying she didn’t expect to get as many orders as she did.

“I’m just really thankful for the response, because I thought I’d get, like, five orders maybe, but a lot of people helped with it, and I was very surprised by the overwhelming response,” she said. “It was very good.”

Though plenty of orders came from the community, Melinda said she got an order from one of her old classmates, who now lives in Texas, for them to take some cupcakes to Westview Care Center and the faculty of West Hancock.

“It was just pretty cool that somebody I hadn’t talked to in 20-some years just saw the post, thought it was a neat thing and decided to place an order for Westview and teachers,” she said.

Though she got most of her ingredients from Aldi’s in Mason City, the eggs were donated by Sparboe, Clark said.

“Normally, like, if you have something going on big, they’ll donate eggs,” she said. “…So that helped.”

Clark and Melinda said this experience has made her realize how supportive some people can be after having people from Melinda’s work order and all the people online order cupcakes.

“It’s not that we didn’t think people would respond, we just didn’t know people would respond that well,” Melinda said. “…It showed us that people want to help, people want to help people in need, and that’s one trend living in a small community.”

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