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Goliad grandma bakes for all students (Video)

By By Caty Hirst - CHIRST@VICAD.COM
Feb. 7, 2013 at 8:01 p.m.
Updated Feb. 6, 2013 at 8:07 p.m.

Connie Garcia checks on the beef fajitas while waiting for students to be dismissed from Goliad Intermediate School. From her table across the street, Garcia served fajitas, cupcakes, brownies, pie and juice to dozens of students as they left school Friday.

Cupcake Corner

• WHEN: After 3 p.m. Fridays

• WHERE: Across from Goliad Intermediate School at the intersection of West High and Commercial streets

•  WHO: Parents, children and teachers at Goliad school district

•  COST: Free, but donations of juice boxes are accepted

GOLIAD - Nine-year-old Annica Pompa knows better than to eat all of her school lunch on Fridays.

That's because when school lets out, she joins the nearly 100 other kids from Goliad Intermediate School who stampede the "cupcake lady's" corner.

"I eat half of my lunch so when I come out of school, I have room for everything else," said Annica, wiping off a pink splatter of cupcake icing from her cheek. "They are perfect - I love her tamales and mostly everything she makes is very, very good."

At 78, Connie Garcia, of Goliad, became the "cupcake lady" quite by accident.

It all started in August, she said, when she decided to make homemade cupcakes for her grandchildren at the school as a celebration for the end of the week.

"The other kids would watch my grandkids eat their cupcakes as they walked by, and I thought, 'That's not fair,'" Garcia said.

So a few days later, Garcia brought enough of the cupcakes for all of the students who cross at the Commercial Street intersection and even a few of the teachers.

By November, Garcia was making full meals for the Friday "snack" - fajitas with homemade tortillas, tamales made from scratch, beans, chili and rice - and feeding more than 50 students, teachers and parents each week.

"I'm a poor person, but my heart is big for everyone ... there is nothing they could ask me to do that I won't do. I don't mind doing for the kids; they are my pride and joy," Garcia said.

Maria Guineana, a mother of Goliad students, said she got involved after watching Garcia pass out the goodies each week. Now, Guineana helps make the cupcakes and sits at the corner with Garcia to pass out the food.

She is one of several parents who now contribute to the snack time each week She said it is a way to get involved with the school and in her children's lives.

Goliad County Sheriff Kirby Brumby, who gets a plate of food when he comes to direct after-school traffic, said the experience is special.

"It teaches the children that it doesn't matter if you are Hispanic, Anglo, male or female - we are all good folks. This is the community we have," Brumby said.

Annica agreed, saying the cupcakes are more than just delicious.

"It makes me feel like she cares," Annica said, watching Garcia pass out plates, brownies, juice boxes and cupcakes to all who want a celebratory Friday snack.

Garcia, who wakes up at 4 a.m. every Friday to start the all-day cooking process, said she will continue to feed as many children who cross the intersection for as long as she can, just to see the kids' eyes light up when they get their cupcake.

"My boys want me to stop, but I say I can't stop because the second I do, I will end up in the nursing home," Garcia said.

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