Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington



From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302


Raising the roof on gingerbread houses raises funds for St. Anne Children and Family Center

the Inland Register

(From the Dec. 2, 2004 edition of the Inland Register)

Classic architecture: Preschoolers at St. Anne Children and Family Center create their gingerbread house for Coffman Engineers’ “G is for Gingerbread” silent auction Nov. 18. Assisting in the construction were seventh grade Community Service students from Cataldo School. Proceeds from the auction benefited St. Anne. (IR photo from Catholic Charities)

Jennifer Van Vleet’s idea was sweet in both senses of the word.

A Marketing Director at Coffman Engineers, Jennifer was quick to offer a suggestion when the company’s charitable contributions committee was choosing a recipient for their generosity. St. Anne Children and Family Center was Jennifer’s idea of a worthy cause. And thus “G is for Gingerbread” was born.

Van Vleet enlisted the aid of Traci Hanegan, an engineer at Coffman. Together the two women got several companies to build gingerbread houses.

“I was glad to help,” said Hanegan. “When I was a kid I sold tickets to the annual St. Anne dance, and I rocked medically fragile children at the previous St. Anne building. St. Anne has always been a part of my life.”

The houses were auctioned off at the Coffman office on Nov. 18. A feast for the eye as well as for the tastebuds, the structures ranged from replicas of the Eiffel Tower, Riverfront Park’s Carrousel, and the Space Needle to a gingerbread computer complete with DVD drive.

The kids at St. Anne got in on the fun, creating a house for the project and decorating it in their own Kids’ Kitchen.

As guests enjoyed the hors d’oeuvres made from recipes in the St. Anne’s Auxillary cookbook, they examined the exhibits and placed their bids. Gonzaga University’s American Society of Civil Engineers won the judges’ vote for Most Creative with their gingerbread rendition of St. Aloysius church, which they called St. Delicious.

When the festivities were over $1,955 had been raised for St. Anne’s, which Coffman Engineers supplemented with an additional gift of $1,000.

All the houses were evidence of great ingenuity. “The teams have obviously enjoyed it,” Van Vleet said. “I’ve heard a lot of comments about ‘Well next year…’, so it looks as if we may have a tradition in the making.”


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