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Norwin Lions Club 'Cubcake Wars' to be fought for good cause

| Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Dina Denning loves cupcakes, competition and caring for others. On March 16, Denning will get to see all of those things come together.

The Norwin Lions Club will host its first annual “Cubcake Wars” at the Circleville Fire Hall on Robbins Station Road to help raise money for children in the Norwin School District who struggle to eat between school meals.

It costs about $8,000 to feed 25 students breakfasts, lunches and dinners over the weekend for a school year through the Kitty Sack program.

About 200 students from the school district would be eligible for the program, Denning said. She hopes to raise $16,000 at the Cubcake Wars.

She said she always has pledged to keep raising money and awareness about this issue “until every child had a full belly and never knew what hunger was again,” she said.

The event, which was brought about by Denning's love for the Food Network, will mimic the televised competition “Cupcake Wars” in various ways.

The judges will grade participants on things sucg as presentation and the use of particular ingredients. One of the criterion requires that participants use ingredients that start with an “L,” an “I,” an “O” or an “N.”

Denning's daughter, Nalene Hamilton, was one of the first to sign up for the event.

“Since the Food Network is quite possibly my favorite television network, I knew that I wanted to be involved especially since this is for such a good cause,” she said.

Hamilton, 26, went to school in the Norwin School District and said that the concept of feeding the kids there “is something that hits home” for her.

Her table will be a hodgepodge of cupcakes and memorabilia that center on her family and especially her dog, Ellie, who takes the spotlight with the team's name: “Cousin Ellie's Cubcakes.”

The team, which consists of Hamilton, her husband, and her sister-in-law, will also incorporate camouflage and pigs — a representation of Ellie's favorite stuffed-animal toy.

“Even though all of this is quite random to an outsider's eye, it is all about my family and hopefully will be somewhat of an eye-catcher for people to come to our table,” Hamilton said.

The cupcake recipes are a secret, but, Hamilton said, one of the three will be a cupcake version of tiramisu, she said.

Denning, who owns Embellished Images by CSDI in North Huntington, wants the event to be family-friendly and fun-filled but she also wants to raise as much money as she possibly can while bringing the community together to educate residents about a problem they might not know exists.

Denning said she can feel “the excitement in the air of bringing the community together,” and hopes to have a large turnout.

For more information, call Dina Denning at 724-863-4104, ext. 114. Donations can be addressed to the Norwin Lions Club, c/o Dina Denning, 11380 Route 30, North Huntington, 15642.

Matthew DeFusco is an intern with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400 or

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