Tradition Continues Thanks to W. R. Berkley

December 20, 2018

W. R. Berkley Donates Funds to Green ChimneysEach December, for the past decade, children at Green Chimneys have waited in anticipation for the arrival of a big, beautiful, delicious treat to arrive in our dining hall from … W. R. Berkley!

For ten years Green Chimneys has kicked off our holiday season with the arrival of a large, intricate gingerbread creation made by Stefani Gosselink. Each year Stefani created magnificent gingerbread structures that were auctioned off for charity as part of a holiday luncheon for W. R. Berkley Corp. employees. The company would then match the winning bid, doubling the gift to Green Chimneys.

Stefani Gosselink Gingerbread Tradition

Stefani and Robert Gosselink with Green Chimneys Executive Director Dr. Placke (center), December 2017

“We looked forward to Stefani’s visit each year, when she and husband Robert, would deliver her gingerbread creations, from replicas of the Arc de Triomphe to the Chrysler Building, it was always an amazing surprise to the children of Green Chimneys,” states Kristin Dionne, Director of Development. Because of her creativity, compounded by the auction and W. R. Berkley Corp.’s matching gifts, over $200,000 was raised for Green Chimneys children and animals over the past decade.

The Tradition Continues

This year marks the first holiday season since Stefani lost her battle to cancer. In her memory, W. R. Berkley Corp. decided to carry on her tradition. Elizabeth, wife of W. R. Berkley Corp. employee Jeffrey Hafter, constructed a gingerbread Eiffel Tower which resulted in a gift of $28,000 in support of Green Chimneys children and animals!

At a time filled with traditions, witnessing people carry out someone else’s ritual seems all the sweeter. We’re forever grateful to the Gosselinks for pioneering this beautiful custom. And we’re equally thankful of W. R. Berkley’s continued support.

Explore how you can support Green Chimneys Children and Animals!