A Taste for Giving

By Frank Radosevich II
December 7, 2012

Bradley students helped bring in hundreds of dollars for a local charity this holiday season with a delicious fundraising idea: a gingerbread house-building contest.

Members of the Bradley Fellows program, a leadership and service organization, hosted the sixth annual competition that saw about $400 raised for the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Peoria.

CASA is a volunteer organization that advocates on the behalf of neglected and abused children within the Peoria County court system by making sure the child’s best interests are represented during their court proceedings.

The contest invited individual students, campus organizations and community groups to build edible structures out of slabs of gingerbread and dollops of frosting and then vote on the winning houses.

This year the contest reached out to the community to involve more agencies from the Peoria area, said Kristen Jensen, a junior in retail merchandising who serves as the development chair for the Fellows program.

“It’s primarily student groups that take part but this year we tried to reach out more to the community,” she said. “We talked to Key Clubs at high schools and tried to get the word out early.”

Some of the dozen or so houses featured candy-cane window frames, gumdrop siding, marshmallow snowmen and front lawns made from cookies.

The Bradley Fellows raised money by charging a fee for each candy-studded home that was entered in the contest and by asking participants to pay a dollar for every vote. Students of Kathy Fuller’s EHS 120 class built the winning gingerbread house.

“The competition is just a good time for organizations to bond and help out,” Jensen said. “I think everyone had fun with it.”