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WCTC students prepare plain gingerbread houses – and decorated masterpieces – for Habitat for Humanity’s Gingerbread Build

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Just like most families have holiday traditions, so, too, do students in WCTC’s Baking and Pastry Management program. For the eighth year, student bakers in their second year of studies are using the skills they learned and developed in their classes to help with Habitat for Humanity of Waukesha County’s tiniest build.

WCTC students baked and assembled 18 plain, undecorated gingerbread houses and donated them to the organization for the annual Gingerbread Build competition. The event is hosted by The Corners of Brookfield and sponsored by AG Architecture; WCTC is the gingerbread house sponsor.

Companies, individuals or organizations could then purchase the pre-assembled, blank houses from Habitat (or make their own), decorate them and submit them to the contest. This year, the competition is broken into three categories: amateur, professional (for bakeries, restaurants and experienced bakers) and children (ages 7 to 12).

Proceeds to Help Build Affordable Housing

The decorated gingerbread houses – including six WCTC student entries -- will be on display at Von Maur at The Corners of Brookfield on Saturday, Dec. 10, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. as well as on the Habitat Facebook page. Voting will take place in person at Von Maur and also on Habitat’s website through midnight on Sunday, Dec. 11; winners will be announced on Monday, Dec. 12. Proceeds will be used in Waukesha County to help build affordable housing.

In addition, WCTC students this week are having a friendly competition of their own on campus, where staff and students are able to buy tickets for $1 and vote for their favorite student-decorated houses.  Voting will take place Dec. 6-8 in the upper level of Building A, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Money raised will be donated to the WCTC Campus Cupboard food pantry.

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

This project is just one of the many community service projects Gasparek’s students participate in each year, and it’s something they thoroughly enjoy, she said. Plus, it gives them the chance to practice large-scale production skills. Recently, student bakers also made 400 decorated Christmas cookies for the Ronald McDonald Christmas Fantasy House and another 100 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Flight to the North Pole.

>> Learn more about WCTC’s Baking and Pastry Management program.