Gingerbread House Festival Benefits Auburn Food Pantry

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The first-place gingerbread house entry was made by Auburn's Bailey Trilligan with help from Kayla Hathaway. Photo Credit: Jeffrey LaBonte
Leah Lefferts of Millbury made this gingerbread house and won second place. Photo Credit: Jeffrey LaBonte
The third-place gingerbread house entry was created by Jack Hanlon of Oxford. Photo Credit: Jeffrey LaBonte
Kids meet and talk with Santa at the gingerbread house event at the Pakachoag Church in Auburn. Photo Credit: Jeffrey LaBonte

AUBURN, Mass. – The Pakachoag Church Gingerbread House Festival to benefit Auburn Youth and Family Services was a “great success,” said the Rev. Dennis Knight. 

The contest had 25 creative entries, and participants donated food and money for the needy at the Dec. 2 event. 

“We have a strong emphasis in the church in bringing the community together and having events for families, and this was another case of that,” Knight said. “It was a goodwill kind of event where we raised quite a bit of food to help other families this holiday season.”

This year’s event was much better attended than last year’s inaugural event, said Jeffrey LaBonte, event organizer and member of the church.

“We had about 125 people come through, and we helped the Auburn Youth and Family Services’ food pantry, so it was an all-around great day,” LaBonte said. “And also Santa showed up, so kids got to meet and talk with him, and they had a great time.”

The gingerbread houses were sophisticated and showed great creativity, LaBonte and Knight both said.

Attendees voted for their favorite gingerbread house. The top-three entries were made by:

• Bailey Trilligan, 4, Auburn – First Place

• Leah Lefferts, 12, Millbury – Second Place

• Jack Hanlon, 6, Oxford – Third Place

In addition, Knight said he was grateful for the volunteers who put the festival together.

“It takes those people contributing their time,” he said. “I can’t say enough about them.”

Auburn Youth and Family Services operates a food pantry and food distribution program at 21 Pheasant Court. The mission is to help alleviate hunger for Auburn’s children and families, as well as educate families about the importance of good nutrition.

The food pantry’s wish list includes peanut butter, jelly, juice, popcorn, canned corn and green beans, Parmalat milk, cereal, canned soups and pasta, shampoo, toothpaste and laundry detergent.  

The food pantry operates Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Emergency disbursements are made on an as-needed basis.

For more information on the food pantry, call 508-832-5707 or email

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