A Gingerbread House for the Homeless

The National Gingerbread House Competition in Asheville, N.C., has a simple premise: Turn a sugar and spice treat into a showcase event. Southern Living loves the festivity that brings 200 holiday masterpieces into one room. The gingerbread houses show a dedication to detail such as the gingerbread dragon scaling a castle or the onion domes and neo-gothic skyscrapers in a delicious-looking Russian street.

Miles away, Jayme Walters looks to recreate that event’s success here. Walters, the new development officer for Aurora, wanted a signature event for the 22-year-old nonprofit organization dedicated to ending homelessness. She’s a former Asheville resident who thinks a similar event, the Midwest Gingerbread House Competition & Holiday Showcase, will work in Evansville. The inaugural effort will be fun, Walters says, and showcase Aurora’s mission.

With more than $8,000 in prizes, the goal is to attract 100 competitors for the Dec. 10 event held at The Centre. Among the festivities is a day packed with holiday entertainment such as choirs belting out carols and dancers performing Nutcracker-esque routines. A silent auction, the “Holiday Shop,” offers items donated by local businesses, gift baskets, and certificates.

The event should raise funds for the nonprofit, but it should also raise awareness for Aurora. “Sometimes people get a little afraid of addressing homeless issues,” Walters says. “We want people to understand the plight of a homeless person. A lot of people are just one paycheck away from being homeless.”

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