JWCS serves up a sweet event: Gingerbread For A Cause

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:38

SPARTA — Junior Women's Club of Sparta organized their first Gingerbread For A Cause this past Saturday. Gingerbread structures — not limited to standard houses — of all shapes and sizes were entered into the club's contest at the Sparta Middle School. There were 27 entries, each one unique in its own delicious way. Judging was broken down into five categories with three age groups for those between 3 and 16 years old, adults, and group collaborations. Jaci Pierson, Co-President of the club, hopes this will become an annual event. Along with Darlene Blandina, Emma Matsinger, and other JWC members and volunteers, a new fundraising idea that originated during the summer months came to life for the holiday season. Matsinger was thrilled with the area residents who came together to donate and participate. “We got people from farther around Sussex County than we thought. Our goal is to make it bigger for next year.” The day’s schedule was not only about gingerbread. One special feature that captivated the children was the Holiday Storytime. Lyn Gebhard, the Children's Coordinator at the Sparta Public Library, read several books including a fun pop-up book, "Cookie Count." Other activities available were water-soluble tattoos and an arts & crafts area. Stickers, markers, and crayons were put to work by little hands creating holiday cards and colorful pictures. The event was a fundraiser for Katie's House, Inc. Donations of all kinds helped the cause — Sparta Middle School donated the space; JWCS members baked a wide variety of cookies, pumpkin bread, cranberry bread, chocolates, and cakes for the bake sale; area businesses donated gifts for the silent auction ranging from jewelry and gift cards to sports memorabilia and decorated Christmas trees. Katie's House was founded in 2001 by Katie's' parents Evelyn and Conrad Dudziec. In 2004 they purchased and renovated a house in Newton that now serves as a permanent residence for young adults with developmental disabilities. Activities and services the organization offers provide opportunities for growth, participation in the community and most importantly a chance to make friends and be with others who are age and ability appropriate. The motto of house members is, My Life, My Way. In addition to pulling off the Gingerbread For A Cause event, the JWC of Sparta is also organizing Holiday Gift Wrapping Services tonight, Thursday Dec. 15 between 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Sparta Recreation Department in the lower level of the Sparta Library. Fees range from $1 to $5 depending on size and will go to Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. First Place winners 3 to 6 years: Snelling’s Gingerbread House 7 to 11 years: Paige Bischoff 12 to 16 years: Jordan Clint Group: Cub Scout Pack 295 Den 6 Adult: Morgan Bleakley