WESTFIELD, NJ – A representation of a home that made international news is among the winners of a town-wide contest of gingerbread building, but it is not the top vote-getter in the competition whose winners the public picked in an online poll.
Tara and Rob Donnelly along with Brian and Amy Shields, of Westfield, built the gingerbread model of the “Watcher House,” the home at 657 Boulevard. Shortly after purchasing the home in 2014, its owners were plagued by creepy letters. The gingerbread model, which includes letters on the doorstep of the gingerbread home, won in the category of Iconic Building/Location.
Westfield's Modesto family won across all categories with a replica of the Westfield NJ Transit Station. The gingerbread train stop includes reindeers led by one with a red nose, pulling a sleigh filled with candy along train tracks adorned with candy cane lights.
Mayor Shelley Brindle announced the winners at Thursday's annual reorganization meeting of the Town Council as Councilwoman Dawn Mackey, who spearheaded the contest, gave out the prizes.
Michael Robert Construction's Elle and Michael Mroz received an honorable mention in the category of iconic building location for a scale replica in gingerbread of the construction company’s building on West Broad Street.
Winners in the other categories include the following:
Stellingwerf family – Saint Nick’s Church (winner)
Bryan Family – Elm Street (honorable mention)
Children Under 14
Mackenzie, Hannah, Emily, Natalie and Olivia (winner) – Edison School
Kaiya Murray (honorable mention) – Little House
The town contest came during the heart of the holiday shopping season in an effort to help draw consumers into the downtown.
Sponsoring the event were Northfield Bank, Bovella's Pastry Shoppe, Erin Ben-Hayon Realtor and David Realty Group - Westfield NJ Real Estate.
Photos of all gingerbread homes that won in the contest may be viewed on the gingerbread contest page of the town website.
Email Staff Writer Matt Kadosh at firstname.lastname@example.org; Follow him on Twitter: @MattKadosh