By Samantha McDonnell
If you ever want to know how hard it is to transport a gingerbread house on a bus, ask three local seniors. These seniors traveled to Niagara Falls by bus carrying precious cargo.
Jazmine Fuentes received second place for her house. The house was then auctioned off with the proceeds benefitting the Food Bank of Western New York. Fuentes’ house brought $200 at auction. All houses had to be edible in order to be auctioned off.
The girls took part in the annual Gingerbread Competition held at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute recently. Students from David Caccamise's culinary arts class at BOCES LoGuidice Center were invited to attend the event and were chosen by Caccamise. Ashley DePonceau and Chelsea Babcock, both of Westfield and Jazmine Fuentes of Brocton, were winners in last year's annual gingerbread competition in Caccamise's class. Fellow students and staff had the opportunity to vote on the students' creations.
Caccamise said traveling by bus was the hardest part and used paper towel rolls to keep houses stable and even carried an emergency repair kit including extra icing glue and decorative candies.
"The toughest thing was traveling to Niagara Falls. During the bus ride the students had to keep (the houses) on their laps," he said.
In the amateur division of the competition, Fuentes was awarded second place and DePonceau was awarded third place. Following the competition, the houses were auctioned off with proceeds going to the Food Bank of Western New York. Fuentes' house received $200, DePonceau's house raised $175 and Babcock's house raised $75.
"I'm very proud of them. It was a big commitment. They were doing other modules while building their houses," Caccamise said.
He said the girls were not competitive while creating the gingerbread houses but instead helped each other. Caccamise said the students helped one another once their own house was complete.
"They helped each other even when they were done," he said.
The juniors who won this year's competition in Caccamise's class will be invited to next year's competition to be held in Niagara Falls.