Utah Department of Corrections




For the 14th year, women at the Timpanogos Women's Correctional Facility at the Utah State Prison have turned gingerbread, dough, sugar, rice paper and Rice Krispies into magical creations for the Festival of Trees' benefit for Primary Children's Hospital!

Every year, Culinary Supervisor Lt. Rod Villamil comes up with two designs — one theme for children and the other a classic theme. One of this year's creations pays tribute to animated children's movies (Box Trolls; How to Train Your Dragon; Home; and Inside Out). The whimsical gingerbread sculpture also includes a tribute to the people of Paris, with a French flag and the Eiffel Tower peace symbol. See if you can spot them!

"We love to se the children get excited," said Villamil.

The other creation illustrates Utah's pioneer heritage and iconic landmarks.

Nine women volunteered to work on the two creations and put in about 16 hours a week since the end of August working on the projects.

UDC staff delivered them to the Festival on Monday. As in previous years, the creations were featured in a silent auction Tuesday evening and raised $3,000 for Primary Children's Hospital! The Festival, held at South Towne Expo Center, is open to the public through Saturday.                     

In 2014, the creations were: Frozen and "Twas the Night Before Christmas," which brought in bids totaling $10,000. Creations from previous years included depictions of Hogwarts School from Harry Potter, the Lehi Roller Mills building, and scenes from the movies Up, Madagscar and Despicable Me — which raised $3,500 for the hospital in 2013.

The theme behind "Twas the Night Before Christmas" — which was modeled after the home in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" — was that even the humblest homes are filled with love.

For Lt. Villamil, the annual project provides an opportunity to help female inmates draw on or discover artistic talents, learn skills and work together on something that benefits the community. The women, some of whom have participated in the project since its inception, say they look forward to the chance to work creatively, do something good for others and bring smiles to the faces of all who see their creations.

"A lot of us have done really bad things so this a chance to do something really good, said inmate Sally Krivanek.

The gingerbread creations will be on display at the Festival of Trees at the South Towne Expo Center, 9575 S. State Street in Sandy, from Dec. 2 to Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Regular ticket prices are $6 for adults and $3 for children ages 2 to 11. For more information, visit http://festivaloftreesutah.org