A Holiday Tradition Carries On

Ed Placke, Jeffrey Hafter and Robert Gosselink.

The W.R. Berkley Corp. continues a touching tradition that gifts a spectacular hand-crafted gingerbread house and accompanying donation to the children of Green Chimneys each December. Started by Stefani and Robert Gosselink, a former W.R. Berkley executive, the annual gift has been comprised of a magnificent gingerbread structure created by Stefani as part of a holiday luncheon for W.R. Berkley employees, where the creation would be auctioned off for an amount then matched by the company's charitable foundation.

Stefani passed away in 2018 but her kindness and talent live on for the students and staff at Green Chimneys. W.R. Berkley Executive Vice President Jeffrey Hafter has graciously picked up the torch and this year, delivered a stately pagoda created by him and his wife, Elizabeth. Robert continues his involvement with the renowned nonprofit as an active member of its Board of Directors.

“Each year we are awed by the amazing gingerbread houses and we are so grateful to Jeffrey and Elizabeth for sharing their talent and continuing a truly heartwarming tradition,” states Green Chimneys Executive Director Ed Placke. “And we are truly overwhelmed by the generosity of our friends at W.R. Berkley Corp for their generous support of programs that help so many children and their families.”

Stefani and Robert Gosselink with Ed Placke.