17:28 PM

Baking and Pastry students help with ‘littlest build’ and donate to Habitat for Humanity’s gingerbread house competition

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For the seventh year, Waukesha County Technical College Baking and Pastry Management students are using the skills developed in their classes to help support Habitat for Humanity of Waukesha County.

The second-year students have been integral in helping Habitat with what is affectionately known as its “littlest build.” Students have baked and assembled 16 plain, undecorated gingerbread houses and donated them to the organization for the annual Gingerbread Build competition, sponsored by Shorewest Realtors and MLG Capital Real Estate Investments.

Companies, individuals or organizations could then purchase pre-assembled, blank slate houses from Habitat (or make their own), decorate them and submit them to the contest.

In total, 20 decorated gingerbread houses – including some WCTC student entries -- will be on display at Von Maur at The Corners of Brookfield on Saturday, Dec. 4, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

This year, voting will take place in person at Von Maur, online at and via social media at Votes are $1 each; all proceeds will be used in Waukesha County to help build affordable housing.

Additionally, WCTC students this week are having a friendly competition of their own on campus, where staff and students are able to buy tickets and vote for their favorite student-decorated houses. Money raised from this event will be donated to the College’s food pantry as well as the Waukesha Community Fund.

“The Gingerbread Build is a fun and wonderful way for our students to practice critical thinking skills as well as giving back to our local community and the Campus Cupboard,” said Michelle Gasparek, WCTC Baking and Pastry Management instructor.

Beyond the gingerbread house project, Gasparek said her students are excited to participate in community service projects – especially this year, since many were put on hold last year due to the pandemic. This year’s projects have included creating decorated cookies, cakes, pastries and donuts for events such as Run with the Cops, Life Striders Therapy Horse Ranch Boots and Bling Gala, the Women’s Center of Waukesha County Noteworthy Evening Gala, Make a Wish Foundation Flight to the North Pole and others.

“I’ve got such a caring group of students.” Gasparek said. “They’re really dedicated to giving back.”