Southwestern’s Cupcake Wars is an annual fundraising event that encourages student organizations to test their baking and decorating skills for a good cause. Each participating organization presents its cupcake creation to be judged on creativity, presentation and taste, and also sell their treats for $1 to raise money for END7.

END7 is an international advocacy campaign that raises seeks to raise the awareness and funding necessary to control and eliminate the seven most commonly neglected tropical diseases by 2020. Southwestern University’s Department of Biology and Associate Professor of Biology, Martín Gonzalez, are passionate about raising awareness for END7 among students.

“There are over a billion individuals on this planet that are infected with one or more of these seven organisms,” Gonzalez said. “These individuals tend to be economically disadvantaged and politically voiceless. Although mortality is not immediate, the human costs associated with infection include lost employment, delayed cognitive and educational advancement in children and an overall poor quality of life.”

On a positive note, Gonzalez says it takes only 50 cents a year to provide the medication necessary to cure individuals of these seven infectious organisms.

Another avid supporter is Daniel Nguyen, vice president of Southwestern student organization, Humans, Environment, Animals, and Team, or HEAT. He came up with the idea of Cupcake Wars to support END7. HEAT is a social service organization dedicated to improving the world through positive activism, while also giving members are giving a platform to create world-changing campaigns.

Throughout the event, HEAT members kept track of the money they raised and announced the number of lives they were saving.

“When we hit mile markers like 500, 100, and 2000 lives, we announce it to everyone at the event and everyone cheered and screamed,” Nguyen said. “It really made me tear up watching everyone having a good time and supporting such a good cause.”

At the end of the event, Alpha Kappa Alpha took home the trophy for the “Favorite Cupcake Award” with their strawberry shortcake cupcakes.

Altogether, HEAT raised $1,137 to support END7. This contribution will save more than 2,000 lives.

More information on HEAT and Southwestern’s Department of Biology