PJP2A student Sofia Montalvo baking cup-cakes. Courtesy photo.

By Caitlin Switzer

MONTROSE—( March 19) Start with a great cause, and just add sugar…and perhaps a few sprinkles on top! Local kids can indulge their creativity in the kitchen  at the Kids in the Kitchen Baking Competition, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Bridges Golf Club March 23. The event will be a fundraiser for Pope John Paul II Academy (2900 Sunnyside Road), a private school hoping to build a new facility for its campus in Montrose.

Local entrepreneur  and mom of three Krista Montalvo is organizing the event, which she hopes will become an annual fundraiser for the school. The competition is open to all kids ages four through 18, Montalvo said.

“You have to sign up,” she said. “It’s going to be so fun! This is something I would have loved to participate in as a child. We will be making cupcakes, cookies and bars, and we are also holding a bake sale so that people can come and purchase fully baked goods. We’ll have Oreos and fun things too, and our teachers will have activity booths to showcase our wonderful school.”

Funds raised will go toward the purchase of new equipment. Eventually, the school hopes to have a garden as well, to raise produce for use in school lunches, Montalvo said.

“We want to teach our kids about growing, and composting,” she said. “This fundraiser is one way we can help promote slow food—we will have no pre-bought items, and our recipes are all from scratch. We will encourage the kids and give them some new ideas—we can’t wait to see what they come up with!”

Competitors will have the chance to win some great prizes, she said. Entry fees for competitors are $10 per recipe fee, and for participants admission will be $5 per person or $10 per family.

“The entries will be open for sampling when they are done, and you will be able to vote for the People’s Choice Award winner,” Montalvo said.

Small class sizes and personalized education are hallmarks of Pope John Paul II Academy, which currently offers a Catholic alternative for students in grades Pre-K through Seventh grade. Eventually, Pope John Paul II Academy hopes to offer curriculum for high school students as well, said Montalvo, whose girls attend the school and who runs the school’s hot lunch program through her business, Ginger Magnolia Catering.

“We are hoping to have our new school built by next year,” Montalvo said. “If it is done, we can hold our next baking competition there!”

To sign up or to learn more, email Entry forms are also available through the school web site at  and at