Sweet success Teams vie for top honors in gingerbread competition Dec 11, 2008 ByJeanna Packard
When Lisa Bono and Donelle Robinson signed up for Ohio University's second annual gingerbread house competition, the graduate students didn't realize their rivals viewed the challenge as anything but child's play.
The duo arrived at the Maggie Davis Room in Baker University Center's West 82 food court about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday -- hours later than those who started building their edible art at 7:30 a.m. and days behind the devoted folks who pre-baked reindeer cookies and other gingerbread accessories.
"You can tell we're grad students," Bono said. "We were thinking about how fast we could get this done, and we only used what was available."
By comparison, "Team Elf" had been plotting far enough in advance to have ordered matching T-shirts. The six-member team from university Printing and Graphic Services beat out 14 rivals for the top honor. Their "Santa's Toy House Castle" featured stained glass windows made of fruit candy and towers fashioned from ice cream cones, a concept dreamed up by Tad Gallaugher, a designer and illustrator for Printing and Graphic Services.
Each of Gallaugher's co-elves -- Jenna Williams, Nancy Kearns, Candy Goodwin, David "Uncle Buck" McPhearson and Dave Tripplet -- was assigned a construction task.
"This was our first time," Gallaugher said as he pulled out the detailed sketch of the project. "We decided to jump in head first and go all the way."
Teams were limited only by their imaginations. A $10 entry fee gave the construction crews access to slabs of malleable gingerbread, eight gallons of white and colored icing, 200 candy canes, tubs of gumdrops, pretzels and Oreo cookies, shaved coconut and plenty of powdered sugar, just to name a few of the supplies. But teams also were allowed to bring in their own props.
"This is a fun and creative team-building event," said Eve Wharton, a catering manager and the event's coordinator. "We encouraged employees to participate, and there is a nice combination of faculty, staff and student involvement."
In the holiday spirit of giving, all teams received a pizza party gift certificate from Catering and West 82, whose staff members judged the competition.
The gingerbread creations will be on display in the Maggie Davis Room until Dec. 17.
"Everyone was talking about what they are going to do next year," Wharton said as the day of hard work, fun and friendly competition drew to a close.
"Team Elf" (University Printing and Graphic Services)
Members: Tad Gallaugher, Jenna Williams, Nancy Kearns, Candy Goodwin, David "Uncle Buck" McPhearson and Dave Tripplet.
Gingerbread Dreams (University College)
Members: Kevin Geiger, Amy Six, Tanya Barnett, Teresa Bartlett and Greg Oberlin
Members: Margaret Sheskey, Marlene Poches and Jacquelin Weber
Members: Wendy Merb-Brown, Wendy Rogers, Lizz Warren and Mickey Hart
Printing and Graphic Services' "Santa's Toy House Castle" took top honors at the 2008 West 82 gingerbread contest."Team Elf's" masterpiece incorporated stained glass windows made of fruit candy and towers fashioned from ice cream cones.
Kevin Geiger adds a detail to the University College entry as his teammates, Greg Oberlin and Amy Six, continue working.
Five-year-old Alison Russ gazes longingly at "Santa's Toy House Castle."