DiamondBack picking up their gingerbread house order

Gingerbread House Event Raises $12,500 for THON

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

For the third consecutive year, Penn State’s Auxiliary & Business Services teamed up with THON for a gingerbread house decorating event. While in past years the event was held at The Penn Stater Hotel & Conference Center, to continue the tradition safely, this year the Penn State Bakery and THON leadership teams offered DIY gingerbread house kits. 

Each $50 kit included everything needed to create a gingerbread masterpiece at home—including pre-baked gingerbread pieces, house base, icing mix, candy corn, gum drops, sprinkles, peppermint candies, marshmallows, and gingerbread people.

All proceeds benefitted Penn State THON, and the 250 kits quickly sold out, resulting in a donation of $12,500 to THON.

A local company—DiamondBack Truck Covers of Philipsburg—played a large role in the sale’s success, purchasing 115 gingerbread house kits for their employees. CEO Ben Eltz, who graduated from Penn State in 2002 with a degree in industrial engineering, was on the THON Rules and Regulations committee while at the University and has donated personally to THON each year.

“We thought the gingerbread kits would be a great way to support THON while adding a COVID-friendly holiday activity for our team,” says Eltz. “Honestly, so many things have been taken away from our team this year, this seemed like a perfect way to add something new.”

As part of the company’s Christmas surprise basket, each DiamondBack employee will get a DIY kit to decorate at home with their family. They’ll submit photos, and employees will vote for their favorites. Cash prizes will be given to winners in each category (such as most creative, most traditional, and most humorous).

“I knew that this program would grow as it became a new family tradition,” says John Papazoglou, associate vice president of Penn State Auxiliary & Business Services. “I just didn’t expect it to grow so quickly, and I am very grateful to Ben, and DiamondBack, for helping to expand its reach.”

“At DiamondBack, one of our core values is to make a difference in the lives of those around us,” Eltz says. “We are committed to making a positive impact in our community and in the world. So we really appreciate Penn State and THON offering this neat idea—it's a great way for us to connect with our team while raising money for a very worthy cause.”