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HOUSTON, March 11, 2020 – With the news that the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has decided to close early due to concerns about the coronavirus, the Center for Pursuit would like to thank the Rodeo organizers for allowing the nonprofit to sell its world-famous Gingersnaps and other delectable treats in the Lonestar Market since opening on Mar. 3. This WAS the first Rodeo for The Center for Pursuit, which promotes the pursuit of choice, growth, and personal independence for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) through quality programs and services.

Gingersnaps Etc., a volunteer-powered project of the Center for Pursuit, has raised more than $5 million over the years to support the valuable work of this organization. However, this was the first foray into marketing Gingersnaps, Cheesesnaps and other delicious cookies through the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The sweet and savory treats were selling briskly throughout the duration of the Rodeo, with staff and volunteers manning the booth from noon to 9 p.m. daily.

“We are truly appreciative of this wonderful opportunity to partner with the Houston Livestock and Rodeo to introduce Gingersnaps, Etc. to the broader community and to advance our work with adults with I/DD,” says Charles C. Canton, President and CEO of The Center for Pursuit. “Although we are disappointed that this iconic Houston event was cut short, our board and staff fully support the decision by Rodeo officials, Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lena Hidalgo to put the health and welfare of all citizens first. No doubt, Houstonians will once again come together to show their resilience in the face of adversity.”

The Center for Pursuit, which serves more than 450 clients, broke ground in January on its new facility in Houston’s East End. The campus and buildings promise to be transformative for both The Center for Pursuit and this fast-growing area of Houston. The move in 2021 will allow for expansion of The Center for Pursuit’s programs to include onsite jobs and job training, supported employment, day programs and various residential living options.

About The Center for Pursuit

For more than six decades, The Center for Pursuit (The Center) has empowered individuals with intellectual and
developmental disabilities (I/DD) to live meaningful, dignified lives filled with opportunity. Through innovative
programs and services in areas like employment training, community living, and day habilitation, we help our
clients develop the skills and tools necessary to grow as individuals and participate fully in their community. Always growing and changing, The Center currently serves over 450 adults with I/DD in the Houston area. We tailor the support we provide to the varied needs of the people and families we serve. Each day, in each program, we witness breakthroughs, tender moments, and everyday victories that affirm our steadfast commitment to our guiding principles of choice, growth, and personal independence, and the humanity within us all.

About Gingersnaps Etc.

Gingersnaps Etc. was a labor of love developed by super-volunteer and friend of The Center for Pursuit Alicia Lee, whose son, Jeffery, was a long-time resident. In the beginning, Alicia baked and sold fruitcakes to support The Center for Pursuit’s work. At the same time, she volunteered in the office of former President George H.W. Bush. It was there that former First Lady Barbara Bush took an interest in the project and made the suggestion that inspired our now-famous gingersnaps. When asked if she would support the project, Mrs. Bush was happy to help.

Work began to develop a recipe that was crisp and spicy with lots of taste. Alicia accomplished this so successfully that volunteers were working at capacity to fill the orders that poured in. True to her word, Mrs. Bush and her family were among our first customers! That was the 1998 holiday season and the rest, as they say, is history.

Today, Gingersnaps Etc. offers our products at markets, online, and at The Center for Pursuit’s campus in central
Houston. Over the years, we’ve grown to include a small office staff and the partnership of a wonderful local
baker, Peter Hobi of Alphorn Bakery. The heart of Gingersnaps Etc., however, is still our volunteers, who come
from all walks of life to hand-package every cookie that goes out. Proceeds from our sales go to enrich the lives of the 450+ individuals that The Center for Pursuit serves daily. Since its inception, Gingersnaps Etc. has raised over $5 million to support The Center!