By Kirra Grimes

AN ambitious eight-year-old has warmed the hearts of the Inverloch community with a bake sale raising funds for the bushfire relief effort.
Newhaven College student Anna Crocker-Rose raised $517 for the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund selling homemade cupcakes around Inverloch last week.
She made the 83 cupcakes, with some help from her brothers, Felix and Louis, in a single, marathon baking session last Tuesday, January 7.
On Wednesday, January 8, she hit the streets delivering the sweet treats all over Inverloch, to customers who’d placed orders with her mum Kristen, after she promoted the fundraiser on Facebook.
Many of them paid much more than the asking price, so impressed were they by the charitable gesture. Some people even donated funds without taking any cupcakes in return, including Anna’s own grandma, who made a last minute $100 donation from Finland, after seeing Kristen’s Facebook post.
Sitting down with the Sentinel-Times last Thursday, Anna explained she was moved to do something for fire affected communities after a thick smoke haze came over Inverloch on Monday, January 6.
“I was driving home with mum and there was a lot of smoke on the road and she told me about the gigantic fires at Bairnsdale.
“I asked if I could have a cupcake stall and she said yes!” Anna said.
“We had a cupcake sale at school once and they sold almost all of them. Plus, everyone loves cupcakes; I seriously can’t name two people who don’t love cupcakes.”
Kristen said the sight and smell of the smoke really brought the bushfire disaster home for the kids, especially as Bairnsdale was somewhere she regularly travelled for work.
Knowing the value of community service through her involvement with Inverloch Cubs, Anna made it her mission to raise funds to “help people fix their houses up”.
“I thought there might be a few people whose houses hadn’t gone completely but maybe needed some wood or some bricks to fix them up… like if they’d lost their roof or had a hole in the wall.
“I figured someone had to do it, why not me?” she said.
The family were thrilled with the community’s enthusiastic response to the initiative, which surpassed all expectations.
“When Anna first came up with the idea, I thought it was great, but I wanted to see if anyone would actually want to buy any,” Kristen said.
“I put up a quick Facebook post just before dinner on Monday night, and by the time I checked on it an hour or so later, we realised we were going to have to go out and buy three more boxes of cupcake mix!
“She was only planning on making around 50 but we got over 80 orders straight away.”
The experience will no doubt encourage Anna’s entrepreneurial spirit, and she’s already got other ideas in the pipeline. Watch this space.
“She’s always got plans, whether it’s a carwash, a lemonade stand… there’s often a scheme afoot,” said Kristen.
“It’s good to see this one come off for a good cause.”