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Crestwood Shops turn into 'Gingerbread Way' for Child Protection Center fundraiser

Benefit local organization while shopping this weekend
andre gingerbread.jpg
Posted at 7:55 AM, Dec 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-05 08:55:00-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A fun event benefiting a good cause kicks off today at the Crestwood Shops in Kansas City, Missouri.

Most of the boutiques along 55th Street between Oak Street and Brookside Boulevard have a gingerbread house in them to lure customers to the shops this weekend. Ten percent of sales at the stores today, Friday and Saturday go to the Child Protection Center.

The CPC conducts and records forensic interviews with children who have witnessed or been the victim of crimes. The organization gives the recordings to prosecutors who can use them as evidence as they work to convict offenders. Recording the interview means children don’t have to repeat their story over and over, reliving the trauma each time.

“I am so passionate about what we do here because these children get to begin their healing process here. It means so much to me to give them the opportunity to tell their story,” said Lisa Mizell, the president and CEO of Child Protection Center.

The center sees more than 800 children every year. About 20 of those children have witnessed a homicide, according to Mizell.

Even if you don’t shop at Crestwood this weekend, Mizell said you can protect children by reporting any suspected abuse. In Missouri, call 1-800-392-3738. In Kansas, call 1-800-922-5330. You can remain anonymous.

“If you see a child who is being abused, if a child comes to you and says someone hurt me, believe them. In my experience, it is extremely rare for a child to lie about this. By the time they are willing to tell someone about something that's happened, it's happened,” Mizell said.

If you do shop at Crestwood, you’ll see Rene Bollier’s gingerbread house at Underdog Wine Co. The pastry chef and owner of André’s Confiserie Suisse followed a 60-year-old design his grandfather, André, came up with.

“We thought it would be neat to take his original design and just blow it up, make it dramatically bigger. And by making it bigger, it allows you to put more detail in it do more fun things with it,” Bollier said.

The unique part of Bollier’s house is that everything is covered in chocolate. The chocolate helps hold the pieces together, but also keeps the gingerbread from becoming stale. Bollier said the person who buys this gingerbread house will be able to eat all of it.

Bollier said he didn’t hesitate to donate hours of his time to this fundraiser.

“The CPC is something everyone can easily get behind because it's important that kids have the protection they need,” Bollier said.

Each gingerbread house is in a silent auction this weekend. You can buy each house immediately for $1,000.

For a list of events happening during the weekend, click here. The following chefs are participating in the competition:

  • Rene Bollier, André’s Confisserie Suisse
  • Peter Castillo, Intercontinental Hotel
  • Cheri Elder, Sweet Bliss Cakery
  • JC Gregg, Covet Bakery
  • Katherine Keeling, Indian Hills Country Club
  • Melissa Luong, Ameristar Casino
  • Ginny Pilarz
  • Meghan Schlichting, Mission Hills Country Club
  • Bernard Shondell, Bernard’s Bakehaus
  • Kolika Simmons, Story
  • Tia Throkmorton, The Savoy at 21c