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Gingerbread Houses Build Real Homes

Alexandria Katsis, 8 (right), with her mom Leora work on their gingerbread house.
Markham families participate in Gingerbread Build at Varley Art Gallery on Saturday.
Markham families participate in Gingerbread Build at Varley Art Gallery on Saturday.
Markham families participate in Gingerbread Build at Varley Art Gallery on Saturday.
Callie, 7, starts decorating her gingerbread house from the roof.
Markham families participate in Gingerbread Build at Varley Art Gallery on Saturday.
Lucas, 10, from Thornhill, gets fancy face painting.
Camille, 13, decorates her gingerbread house.
Alexandria Katsis, 8 (right), with her mom Leora work on their gingerbread house.

Seven-year-old Callie from Markham can barely contain her excitement while she waits for a lady volunteer in Santa’s helper’s hat to put together the main frame of her gingerbread house. She bounces around the table until, finally, the pieces from the kit are assembled in the shape of a house and she can attach a pink candy to the roof. Even if the candy slightly melted in her palm, it only makes it easier to attach to the gingerbread roof-panel. She giggles and moves onto the next decoration. Similar scene plays throughout a smallish room with three long tables covered with building materials: hard candy, icing cream, cotton candy, pretzel sticks and other decorations which are carefully sampled by the young homebuilders before they were attached to the houses. Like a true Christmas miracle, every gingerbread house helps build a real house for low-income families in the GTA.

Holiday Gingerbread House Build is a fundraising action benefiting Habitat for Humanity GTA to help build real homes for hardworking, low-income families in the GTA. For the past 12 years the fundraiser was held in Toronto Science center, and this year for the first time it expanded to York region as well. Markham families participated in Gingerbread Build at Varley Art Gallery on Saturday.

The goal this year is to raise $75,000 through the sales of gingerbread kits throughout GTA. Of 1,000 kits earmarked for the York region, 750 had been sold already. Each $50 kit contains a house, two gingerbread cookies, lots of icing, a toolbox full of candy and a charitable tax receipt. If you missed the fun on Saturday, you can still purchase your own gingerbread kit at Habitat GTA web site.

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