Gingerbread scene made by City of Maple Ridge communications manager Fred Armstrong. (Fred Armstrong/Special to The News)

Gingerbread scene made by City of Maple Ridge communications manager Fred Armstrong. (Fred Armstrong/Special to The News)

Gingerbread house auction to benefit abused children in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Proceeds of silent auction to go to Alisa’s Wish Child and Youth Advocacy Centre

Goldfish Crackers swim up a deep blue river under a wharf made of pretzel sticks and graham crackers that leads to two colourful gingerbread houses dripping with icicles made of white icing.

The idyllic winter scene is the creation of Fred Armstrong, communications manager with the City of Maple Ridge, who was asked to try his hand at making a house for a fundraiser for Alisa’s Wish Child and Youth Advocacy Centre.

The last time Armstrong made a gingerbread house was in 2012 for an internal contest at the city.

But, he said, at a time when everybody has to socially distance, it was a, “wonderful, blissful project”.

READ MORE: Aim of Alisa’s Wish is to help heal

The scene, measuring 46 by 61 centimetres, took Armstrong 12 hours to make – six hours on Saturday and another six last Sunday.

Plus he had to sit down and plan out the scene which took him an addition 30 minutes and shop for ingredients, another hour.

He admits to having a lot of “foodie” friends from whom he has picked up tricks from over the years.

Armstrong also remembered tricks from watching cake decorating shows in TV.

But, he said, he got most of his inspiration from simply walking up and down the grocery store aisles.

He discovered wafer straws made a perfect roof, chocolate pretzels made a great fence and upside down ice cream cones made great Christmas trees.

“It’s weird because you are going out at this time of the year trying to find ice cream cones. But, thankfully the stores are well stocked,” said Armstrong.

The river was made from blue icing, but he added professional grade food colouring to give it a deep hue.

There are 20 gingerbread houses in total that will be auctioned off for the centre being donated by various local businesses.

The silent auction was the brainchild of Sandi Temple, an ambassador for Alisa’s Wish. She came up with the idea while on a Zoom call with other ambassadors.

All the houses must be completed by Dec. 1. and then photographs will be taken of them an posted onto the fundraiser’s website.

The first ever gingerbread house auction for Alisa’s Wish will start at 9 a.m. on Dec. 7 and run until 5 p.m. Dec. 16.

Starting bids will be around around $20 but will vary slightly depending on the gingerbread house.

To bid on a house go to and look for Alisas Wish Child Youth Advocacy Centre Gingerbread House Silent Auction.

The houses can be eaten or simply kept for decor. And, Temple added, if a gingerbread house is not your thing, a cash donation will always be accepted.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

maple ridgePitt Meadows


Gingerbread scene made by City of Maple Ridge communications manager Fred Armstrong. (Fred Armstrong/Special to The News)

Gingerbread scene made by City of Maple Ridge communications manager Fred Armstrong. (Fred Armstrong/Special to The News)

Just Posted

David Heberlein really enjoyed the kingfisher photo in the latest edition of The News. So much that he was inspred to submit his own bird photo. He captures this American goldfinch on the dike at the top of McKechnie Road in Pitt Meadows on Wednesday, May 12. “There are lots of goldfinches there at the moment and they are very active in the early evening,” he shared. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Goldfinches invade in early evening

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Environment Canada predicts mainly sunny weather for the weekend, with highs of 24 C. (The News files)
Sunny weekend in forecast for Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Highs of 24 predicted for both Saturday and Sunday

Have an opinion you’d like to share? Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or the postal service. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
LETTER: Pandemic fight in stark contrast to Second World War unity, Maple Ridge man says

What if people of the Allied nations thought only of themselves during battle to defeat Hitler?

The draw for May’s Shop Local & Win contest takes place June 4, 2021. (Special to The News)
Open your wallet close to home and win

Maple Ridge - Pitt Meadows Chamber of Commerce hosts shop local competition

Brian Malfesi and his partner Vincent Jourdenais have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge kayak racer qualifies for Tokyo Olympics

Malfesi is first B.C. sprint paddler to race for Team Canada at Olympics in 33 years

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Surrey RCMP in the 4900-block of 148th Street, a short road just off of King George Boulevard, on May 15, 2021 after a male was allegedly assaulted with a “pipe-like” weapon that morning. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey RCMP investigating after person reportedly injured with ‘pipe-like’ weapon

Police investigating incident in the 4900-block of 148th Street

Dr. Steve Beerman, of Nanaimo, shows off his Dr. David Bishop Gold Medal, awarded for distinguished medical service. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
B.C. man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Most Read