Sweet hol­i­day treat

The Gananoque Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - LOR­RAINE PAYETTE

Cin­na­mon stick logs make a barn be­side a fence of pret­zels in the ginger­bread vil­lage at the Branch 92 Le­gion in Gananoque on November 30. Tick­ets will be sold to raf­fle off the cre­ative mas­ter­piece from now un­til Friday, De­cem­ber 22 at 3 for $5. All pro­ceeds go to the Food Bank.

There is a chance to win a happy ginger­bread vil­lage while help­ing out the lo­cal Food Bank.

“We are so happy to wel­come this lovely ginger­bread vil­lage that’s be­ing raf­fled off as a fundraiser for the Food Bank,” said Gwen Hun­drieser of the Gananoque and Area Food Bank. “We’re very ap­pre­cia­tive. They’re sell­ing tick­ets at the bar in the Branch 92 Le­gion – 3 for $5. The draw will be held at the Le­gion on Friday, Dec. 22, and we’re very thank­ful to Reg-Pearce. He’s an on­go­ing sup­porter of the Food Bank, and once again he’s do­ing a great ser­vice for us.”

Pearce is an ex­ec­u­tive chef work­ing for Sodexo for the past 40 years. He was em­ployed at Queen’s Uni­ver­sity in Kingston, and now works from home where he does a lot of menu and recipe de­vel­op­ment for spe­cial oc­ca­sions. He was the ex­ec­u­tive chef for the 2010 Win­ter Olympics in Van­cou­ver, the 1994 Com­mon­wealth Games in Victoria, BC, and the Pan-Amgames two years ago in Toronto. He was also in­volved with the Rugby Cup in France, feed­ing ath­letes and oth­ers in Paris.

“It was three years work to get the menus in place and ev­ery­thing else,” said Pearce. “They had to be blessed by di­eti­cians, then go to each of the teams to make sure that every­one was be­ing fed prop­erly. It was a lot of work, but well worth it in the end. I was the chef that fed Crosby his meal be­fore he scored the win­ning goal. He came in, a very su­per­sti­tious-man, and wanted spaghetti, which wasn’t on the pasta bar, so he asked me to make it for him. I made it and gave it to him, then said, ‘Best of luck tonight.’ He said, ‘ Thank you very much’, and when I walked in the door at home, he scored the win­ning goal.”

Pearce lives on High­way Two where he has a 70 acre fam­ily farm.

“We have large gar­dens and do grow some food, so I have been sup­ply­ing the Food Bank with some pro­duce and that for the last four years,” said Pearce. “This year wasn’t a great year be­cause of all the rain and we didn’t get­much to them, so I de­cided to do a lit­tle bit of a ginger­bread vil­lage. We do ginger­bread ev­ery year at the house for the kids, so I thought maybe we’d have those kids and the rest of the fam­ily and some friends do a ginger­bread house for the Food Bank.

“It was lots of fun, and it took us a cou­ple of weeks. My wife Chris­tine did all of the ginger­bread and my daugh­ter Stacey helped out. We dec­o­rated it with some friends – Kim Moore, Jade Gra­ham and I – and we came out with some­thing that looks great for a first try. This is the first time I tried mak­ing a vil­lage. We’d al­ways do ginger­bread houses, so it’s not that dif­fi­cult. Putting it to­gether on a piece of ply­wood and­mak­ing it into a vil­lage and try­ing to get ev­ery­thing squared away was a lit­tle more chal­leng­ing.”

The project took on a life of its own and the fi­nal vil­lage is 32 inches wide by 48 inches long. Most of the items in it are ed­i­ble, with the ad­di­tion of tiny plas­tic ac­cent pieces such as peo­ple, an­i­mals and signs.

“My brother-in-law, Bill Besweth­er­ick, got the Le­gion in­ter­ested, so we took it here and he’s go­ing to sell the tick­ets for us,” said Pearce. “All of the pro­ceeds will go to the Food Bank to help out.

“We try and keep the Food Bank in enough pro­duce in the sum­mer and will con­tinue to do that as long as we are on the farm. They’re great peo­ple and we love help­ing out the com­mu­nity. The chal­lenge would be to have every­one who can give food to the Food Bank. Let’s all get out there and grow a row for the Food Bank.”

LOR­RAINE PAYETTE/ FOR POST­MEDIA NET­WORK

LOR­RAINE PAYETTE/ FOR POST­MEDIA NET­WORK

Friend Roy Moore, left, helps Reg Pearce de­liver the ginger­bread vil­lage to the Branch 92 Le­gion in Gananoque on November 30. Tick­ets will be sold to raf­fle off the cre­ative mas­ter­piece from now un­til Friday, Dec. 22 at 3 for $5. All pro­ceeds go to the Food Bank.

Reg Pearce with his amaz­ing piece of work a com­plete ginger­bread vil­lage at the Branch 92 Le­gion in Gananoque on November 30.

LOR­RAINE PAYETTE/ FOR POST­MEDIA NET­WORK

Mea­sur­ing 32” x 48”, the ginger­bread vil­lage at the Branch 92 Le­gion in Gananoque was put on dis­play on November 30.

Cin­na­mon stick logs make a barn be­side a fence of pret­zels in the ginger­bread vil­lage at the Branch 92 Le­gion in Gananoque on November 30.

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