Bakers smashed the record of cash raised for Habitat for Humanity, nearly doubling last year’s efforts in the annual Gingerbread Showcase.
Habitat for Humanity Victoria’s 10th Annual Gingerbread Showcase ended Jan. 6 with more than 14,000 votes cast and a more than $93,000 through donations, corporate donations and sponsorships. Last year they raised more than $50,000.
“We cannot thank The Parkside Hotel and Spa enough for hosting the Gingerbread Showcase, who, along with our key sponsors, the Victoria Real Estate Board and Revera Living, and thousands of individual donors, pushed our fundraiser over $90,000,” said Yolanda Meijer, chief executive officer of Habitat Victoria. “Of course, none of it would be possible without the amazing bakers, who dedicated hundreds of hours crafting these incredible works of art for us to delight in.”
This year, funds raised go to the Habitat home under construction in Central Saanich – a small single-family home within a larger development in the heart of Saanichton Village.
Showcase visitors voted for their favourite entry with donations. This year’s 2018 people’s choice award was awarded to father and daughter team, David and Rebecca Gittens, for A House is a House for Me.
Following this year’s theme ‘There’s no place like home’ the winning entry was inspired by Fred Penner’s song and Mary Ann Hoberman’s book of the same title. The entry included 31 creatures of 14 species, along with 1,554 individual leaves on the tree.
|A House is a House for Me by David and Rebecca Gittens (Itkasan Images)
Professional judging for special award categories also took place just before the showcase opened to the public. Oak Bay baker Jude Somers earned first place in the amateur category with her ‘At Home in the Garden.’ Somers made a name for herself, and enjoyed immensely, a stint as a contestant on CBC’s Great Canadian Baking Show last year.
‘There’s No Place Like Victoria’ by Veronica and Alyssa Norman earned best first impression; best interpretation of the theme went to ‘Dorothy’s Place’ by Jesika Edison; ‘A West Coast Island Christmas’ by Carie Miller was dubbed most creative and original; and ‘The Burrow’ by Jen Dumon earned the title of best use of skill and technique.
The charity also thanks the 90 volunteer ambassadors who worked 660 hours over the seven-week event, as well as Caffe Fantastico for donating a portion of their coffee and cookie sale proceeds; the Parkside Spa for designating part of the sales of their November and December specials; SW Event Technology for providing lighting; Long & McQuade for their equipment loan; McClaren Lighting for donating additional lights; and media sponsors The Q and The Zone, and Used Victoria.