TROY — Participating The Future Begins Today Club fourth, fifth, and sixth graders came together on Wednesday to indulge in a Christmasy craft project with their families at Troy Junior High.
Cheryl Cotner, who served as Executive Director for The Future Begins Today from 1993 to 2015, began the gingerbread house tradition at Concord Elementary over 30 years ago.
“Through her PTO involvement at Concord, Cheryl Cotner started this event there many years ago,” said Natalie Rohlfs, Executive Director of The Future Begins Today. “When she became involved with The Future Begins Today, she wanted to see these students enjoy it, too. We saw a lot of value in continuing the tradition, and allowing families to unite like this. We host the family events, because we feel that parents and guardians play an important part in that academic process.”
Approximately 180-190 participants were present, with each student being allotted a tray and an empty milk carton, which served as a base and support for their gingerbread house.
Houses were constructed with graham crackers, icing, and various decorative elements, such as chocolate, candies, cereals, and more.
Grand prizes were awarded for Best Family Collaboration, Best Candy Landscaping, Most Festive House, and Most Holiday Spirit from a Student and Their Family.
“Concord supplied a lot of our extra candy and cereal,” Rohlfs said. “We tend to schedule the week after they hold theirs, because they like to partner and pass it on.”
Other materials used for gingerbread houses and prizes were provided by First Financial, Paramount Advantage, Mayflower Arts Centre, Tim Hortons, the Duke Foundation, and various TFBT donors.
According to Rohlfs, the annual gingerbread house event is special, due to the volunteerism it attracts from members of the community.
“20 or 25 volunteers came this year, and we usually get about a dozen at our events, “Rohlfs said. “There’s a lot of interest in bringing cheer this time of year. Our families come from all walks of life, so we just want to break away from the stressors of life and give them all a chance to relax and have fun.”
For more information, visit www.thefuturebeginstoday.org.