Baking and pastry students donate to annual Gingerbread Build

PEWAUKEE — There were a lot of houses being built this week at Waukesha County Technical College — gingerbread houses to be exact.

WCTC Baking and Pastry Management students were able to practice their production skills while donating to the community as they assembled 20 plain, undecorated gingerbread houses to donate to Habitat for Humanity of Waukesha County. The houses will be used for the organization’s annual Gingerbread Build competition and fundraising event.

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

The decorated gingerbread houses, nearly 30 in total including some WCTC student entries, will be on display at restaurants and merchants throughout The Corners of Brookfield on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. as part of the Home for the Holidays event.

Voting tickets ($1 per ticket, $5 for seven tickets or $10 for 20 tickets) can be purchased at Von Maur the day of the event, and all the funds raised will be used in Waukesha County to help build affordable housing. “The service learning projects we do in our program, like the gingerbread houses, are a win-win,” said Michelle Gasparek, WCTC Baking and Pastry Management instructor. “It gives our students the chance to practice technical skills and high-volume production, which they need to become successful in the field, and it also gives them a great feeling of giving back to the community.”

Beyond the gingerbread build project, Gasparek said her students are active in community service projects throughout the year, including creating decorated cookies, cakes and pastries for events including the Ronald McDonald Christmas Fantasy House, Lifestriders Therapeutic Riding Center Boots and Bling Gala and Flight to the North Pole Milwaukee, among others.