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‘Grand’ Gingerbread Competition

Local hotel gets gingery for charity

Gingerbread Village Project

The Manchester Grand Hyatt is getting into the holiday spirit with its fifth annual Gingerbread Village Project benefitting Make-A-Wish San Diego.

Downtown community schools create dozens of gingerbread houses and vie for a chance to win $1,500 for charity. Starting November 30, their edible works will be displayed in the Grand Lobby, forming a gingerbread village complete with a spectacular gingerbread replica of the hotel itself courtesy of executive chef Brent Martin.

Perkins Elementary teacher Lourdes Jana has participated in the program for the last four years. She says it “truly connects students to charity and exposes them to the community.”

The Gingerbread Village is the brainchild of hotel marketing director Kelly Commerford, who has brought the project to each property he’s worked at over the last 18 years. He says the effects go far beyond the two-day duration of the gingerbread house construction. “Families have written to tell me that their son or daughter has graduated with a degree in culinary arts or marketing because of his or her participation in this program.”

Visit the Gingerbread Village at the hotel and vote for your favorite through December 14. The student group with the winning design will present a $1,500 check to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an organization that grants wishes to children with terminal illnesses. The Manchester Grand Hyatt will also serve as an official Toys for Tots drop-off location, so bring a new, unwrapped toy when you visit. ManchesterGrand.Hyatt.com

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