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State Honoree

Addison Loerzel

Moorhead, Minnesota

Addison Loerzel, 14, of Moorhead, Minnesota, an eighth-grader at Horizon Middle School-East Campus, makes more than 3,000 cupcakes each year and sells them at a cupcake stand she has hosted since 2013, raising enough money to grant big wishes for eight children served by the Sunshine Foundation for kids facing serious challenges. Addison, who has a disability and is always delighted to show others that “I can accomplish anything I put my mind to,” knows how difficult it is to spend so much time being poked and prodded at the doctor’s office or hospital. Her dream was to visit Disney World, a wish that was fulfilled by the Sunshine Foundation. “My dream coming true made my heart so happy,” Addison said. “That is why I host a cupcake stand each year. I want all kids with disabilities to feel the power of a dream come true.”

Each year, to get ready for the big day, Addison contacts local businesses for support and gives interviews to local media. Then she spends two long days baking her cupcakes with the help of friends. On the day of her sale, fellow volunteers dressed as Disney princesses deliver pre-orders in the morning, and a stand is set up in a parking lot for walk-in purchases in the afternoon. All of the proceeds go to the Sunshine Foundation to grant wishes for children who are dealing with chronic or serious illness, disability or the effects of abuse. “I know from firsthand experience that a dream come true can be life-changing,” said Addison. “It brings you so many positive memories that it can get you through the toughest of times.”