Friday, 25 November 2011 00:00
Members of 20 Long Island architectural, engineering, design and construction firms were joined this year by students from two local schools as they competed for top honors in Canstruction Long Island 2011, the design/build competition that helps fight hunger in our communities.
Each canned food structure portrayed the theme of ending hunger. Designs included a life-sized Chess Set, a Train, Pac Man, a Care Bear, and an Elephant, to name a few. Many returning teams started formulating the designs for their structures immediately following last year’s event, and the evidence was clear to visitors viewing the exhibit. Teams designed, planned, fundraised, and shopped for their creations for months, but had less than 24 hours to build the final structures at RXR Plaza in Uniondale.
The Syosset-based engineering firm of Lockwood, Kessler & Bartlett, Inc. was one of this year’s first-time participants. Their entry, entitled “Happiness is a Full Supper Dish,” featured Snoopy and his pal Woodstock, and took over 3,200 cans to create. The firm solicited donations from business associates, co-workers, and friends, and even held a raffle to raise enough money to purchase the type and quantity of cans necessary to complete their structure.
“You create a little bit of a buzz in the supermarket when you go to the counter with 400 cans in your cart,” said Team Captain Marian Wypyski, Senior Civil Engineer at the firm, “it was fun … it was an adventure.”
Canstruction Long Island “gives us an opportunity to give back to the community, and also gives us a chance to show the community our skills,” added LKB Executive Vice President Steve Hanuszek. LKB employees are already starting to plan for next year’s competition, which is music to the ears of a member of the firm’s marketing department, Tracy Lobdell. She is also the executive director of Canstruction Long Island, Inc.
All cans of food were donated to Long Island Cares, The Harry Chapin Food Bank to help feed the hungry on Long Island. Many of the participating teams donated excess funds they had raised, resulting in a $3,100 cash donation to the organization, as well.
The five annual Canstruction Long Island events held since 2007 have donated over 193,000 cans of food to help feed those in need in Nassau and Suffolk County.Canstruction Long Island, Inc. is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) public charity formed to produce the annual Canstruction Long Island design/build competition under the auspices of the Society for Design Administration. www.CanstructionLI.org.