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NEWS BRIEFS Students at Bay Haven School of Basics Plus in Sarasota created this 2012 entry in the Gingerbread Festival. Contributed photo FIFTH ANNUAL GINGERBREAD FESTIVAL TO OPEN FRIDAY The Fifth Annual Gingerbread Festival will begin Friday, Dec. 13, at 10 a.m. at Westfield Sarasota Square Mall, Community Youth Development has announced. Admission to the festival is $1. Gingerbread houses will be on sale all weekend, the release continues. All proceeds from the Gingerbread Festival will benefit Community The festival features more than 175 unique gin- Youth Development, which will use the funds gerbread houses built by local students, youth to "provide more positive activities to youth organizations, nonprofits and businesses, a in Sarasota County," the release points out. news release says. The houses will be on dis- Community Youth Development empowers play during mall hours until Sunday, Dec. 15. youth as leaders in service to their commuAmong the event highlights will be an Iron nity, the release explains. Youth in grades 6 Chef-style competition among local culinary to 12 participate in a variety of social and perstudents on Friday and Saturday evening at sonal skill development programs. In 2013, 7 p.m. and the presentation of awards to stu- CYD served 2,192 youth throughout Sarasota dent groups Saturday at 2 p.m., the release County, the release says. Community Youth adds. One additional award will be announced Development is funded in part by Sarasota on Monday, Dec. 16, the release notes: The County Government. People's Choice winner will be determined by votes cast at the festival or online at For more information on the Gingerbread Festival, visit

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