Youngstown State University’s Stambaugh Auditorium is preparing to host its most delicious event in recent memory on Feb. 8, the Sweet Life Cupcake Competition.

The contest gives bakers of all levels the opportunity to show off their skills, whether they are professionals or hobbyists, with both amateur and professional divisions.

Proceeds of the event go toward the Friends of the Mahoning Valley Birth Center, a nonprofit organization that helps new mothers and promotes healthy lifestyles for them and their babies.

This is the second year the competition has been held and the first time at YSU.

Kristi Sanchez is the president of Friends of the Mahoning Valley Birth Center. She is also the founder and event coordinator for the competition.

“Last year, we had an overwhelming amount of support from the community and we completely sold out and ended up having to turn people away at the doors. This year, we have a bigger venue and we’re hoping to be able to accommodate more people and be able to have a good time and serve the community,” Sanchez said.

Cupcakes will be entered in one of five creative categories that range from a “traditional classic” category to the downright wacky yet appropriately themed “pregnancy cravings” category.

One of the five categories also provides consumers with healthier options such as vegan, gluten-free and organic cupcakes.

Winners will be chosen by a panel of judges based on both taste and presentation. Additionally, those attending the event will be able to submit their vote for the Fan Favorite Award.

Helene Sinnreich, the treasurer for Friends of the Mahoning Valley Birth Center, is responsible for putting together the judges’ panel as well as handling ticket sales for the event. Sinnreich encourages all who are interested in competing to do so.

“We had a really great group of amateurs last year who competed, and we’re expecting a whole new exciting crop this year, and anyone who wants to give it a go, should give it a go,” Sinnreich said.

While the professional category for the competition is already set, people have until February 1 to submit their entry forms for the amateur competition.

Tickets for the event are $14 for adults and $7 for children and include entrance to the event as well as the opportunity to sample cupcakes.

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