NORWAY — The Friends of the Gingerbread House, also known as Norway Landmarks Preservation Society, has announced that a matching challenge donation has been offered to the group for the purpose of completing the exterior painting and repair of the historic structure. An anonymous donor has offered a challenge grant of $15,000 to be matched by community support over the course of the next several months.

The Gingerbread House is a Norway landmark. It spent many decades empty and deteriorating until it was donated to a local group, Friends of the Gingerbread House, in 2011. The group raised the money to move it and to begin renovations.

With community donations and grants, it is being slowly rehabilitated in preparation for its readaptive possibilities. Within the past year, much of the facade has been repaired and repainted. The current matching donation will allow the turret, and the south and east sides to be repaired and painted.

Over the past year, with its new colors and prominent location, the house has received increased interest and support. In addition to the matching donation, another donor contributed a parcel of land abutting the Gingerbread House property. This donation of land provides increased potential for future adaptive use of the house.

The Friends of the Gingerbread House also initiated a “Corbel Circle” program, inviting donors to pledge $1,000 over three years. These significant contributors have already provided a substantial beginning to matching the challenge grant. The group hopes that with the official announcement of the challenge, community members will again step forward to take part. Gifts at all levels are appreciated.

Those wishing to help may visit gingerbreadhousenorway.org for information or to contribute online, or to mail a donation to Friends of the Gingerbread House, Box 525, Norway, ME 04268.