By Rebecca Mullins
Nov. 11, 2013. On Friday, Nov. 9, a single class at Appalachian State University astounded all by raising nearly $1,500 in one night at the annual Gingerbread House Competition. The competition was held in the Grandfather Mountain Ballroom of the Plemmons Student Union at Appalachian State University.
Teams of up to five built a gingerbread house during a 1 hour time limit while surrounded by peers, classmates, family and strangers. Fighting the clock, the stickiness of icing and their own tempers, 27 teams battled for the finish, but only four went home with a prize.
“It was friendly competition for a good cause,” stated Sarah Teel, a student leader of the competition. “Everyone enjoyed themselves.”
The Grand Prize for Overall Best House went to the American Institute of Architecture Students. This team of three created a structurally stable, creative masterpiece set in a rural farmland. Their prize, the Golden Hammer and a bouquet of gift cards.
The entire competition is all thanks to one special class who planned, scheduled and hosted the entire event.
Lynn Gregory, a professor at ASU, has taught a Fundraising class for the past few years. In order to give her students the best education and experience she can, she’s given her class an annual project: planning and hosting the Gingerbread House Competition. Paired with Wautaga’s Habitat for Humanity, this year’s class has gone above and beyond the norm.
Their goal that night: $750. Their outcome: $1,380, all of it raised for Habitat for Humanity.
“This has been a good event for us in the past and the ASU students have done a really good job on it, but this year was head and shoulders above the rest,” said Alex Hooker, judge of the competition and Executive Director of Watauga’s Habitat for Humanity.
All the money goes directly to the building of Habitat for Humanity’s 25th house, coincidentally during their 20th year. Last week, the builders started their work on the house. Come summer, the house should be finished and its new owner moved in, remarked Hooker.
Overall, this competition was their best one yet, and with newer students coming in every year, who knows what the future will hold, but one things for certain, this class has made a difference, perhaps not in your life, but certainly in the life of the woman who will one day own Habitat’s 25th house.
Photos by Madison V. Fisler