As Loretta Miller spoke Friday morning, she unwrapped packages containing pre-assembled gingerbread houses in her downtown Great Bend business, the Gallery.
Miller, Judy Reed, Sally Rychlec, Jerry Esfeld and others came up with the sweet idea of hand decorating and selling the Christmas favorites to raise money for the Great Bend Military Moms, a local group that sends care packages to soldiers deployed in the war zones around the world. The project was about four weeks in the making.
“It’s really been an amazing thing that they’ve done for us,” said Leslie Barrett, Military Moms organizer. “These women have worked really hard.”
The women visited many local businesses who supported the project by donating funds for decorations and other needs. So far, the effort has raised about $1,600 through donations and businesses sponsoring the 18 houses.
“People have been incredibly generous,” Miller said. “Everything we have comes from the kindness of people.”
Miller and company, along with volunteer Great Bend High School students, met Saturday at the American Legion post home to decorate the houses. With frosting as glue, candy was attached, creating confectionery seasonal scenes.
Although made of gingerbread, Miller said they houses are strictly meant for decoration.
Through Christmas, the houses will be on display in the window at the Barton County Arts Council building, 1401 Main Street in Great Bend. People are invited to stop and vote for their favorite in different categories, and donate to the cause if they wish.
“These ladies have really worked hard raising money to help with our future shipments,” Barrett said. “Please stop in at the corner of Forest and Main to check out the cute gingerbread houses while you’re out shopping and enjoying our beautiful downtown this Christmas season.”
Barrett said they usually ship about 75 of the packages at a time.
“We’re probably going to do this again next year,” Miller said. She still has several kits left over.
They had planned on doing the house last year, but Miller injured her leg, so the project was postponed.