Philanthropist and community activist Sally B. Thornton founded an annual benefit event nearly a decade ago to raise awareness about epilepsy and funds to support the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County. She called it Gingerbread City, and its most recent iteration occurred Tuesday at The Grand Del Mar.
The black tie-optional event attracted 325 generous people. A water main break on the main road leading to the resort blocked access from the north, but undeterred guests found their way around a circuitous route to approach from the south. On arrival, they entered the ballroom via a red carpet lined with young ladies and men singing seasonal songs, and found a variety of delights awaiting.
The event’s name refers to the gingerbread structure competition at its heart. A dozen spectacular creations were on display in “Grand” and “Petite” categories, all relating to this year’s theme, “Somewhere in Time.” These weren’t your grandma’s gingerbread houses — they were dramatic, minutely decorated wonders produced by artists, chefs and “gingerbread architects,” amateur and professional. The level of detail was simply stunning.