CANstruction for community
Tuesday, 05 February 2013 by Matthew Girard
The Helping Hands Ministry Food Pantry will be able to provide those in the community who require assistance well through the spring.
Thanks to another successful "Canstruction" canned-food donation held at the Mayborn Campus Center on the campus of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor last weekend, the volunteers of Helping Hands were able to stock their shelves with more than 33,000 pounds of food.
"We thought it was a great success," Helping Hands Executive Director Rucker Preston said. "We had close to 1,500 people out throughout the weekend getting to see the structures and also becoming more aware of the need in the community."
This year was the third year Belton hosted the three-day event.
The event started last Thursday with the seven teams having three hours to build their pre-designed structures with just canned food and no alterations to the labels of those cans.
After the teams finished "Canstructing" their pieces, the structures were on display for public viewing on Friday and Saturday. The event ended with a special gala and a keynote speech form Baylor University Graduate professor Dr. Gaynor Yancey.
There was also a silent auction held throughout the weekend, which raised about $7,500.
Along with Canstruction veterans Architectural Edge, Belton Tigers Bible CANnectors and Foundation United Methodist Church, this year's competition also featured four new teams including, Altrusa of Temple, CGI, Harvest Technologies and PC Floors.
Architectural Edge won the Overall, Judge's Favorite and Structural Ingenuity awards for its "If One Can – TOUCAN Better" structure. The Belton Tigers Bible CANnectors and their "EX-O-DUS Hunger – Parting the Red Sea CANvas" structure were named Community Favorite, Best Meal, Best Theme and Most cans with 11,500 cans. Foundation United Methodist Church was voted as the Best Use of Labels.
Architectural Edge owner and Canstruction coordinator Randy Stumberg said this year's structure was challenging.
"It was more complex in a way that a lot of pieces had to fall into place before the other ones could go up," Stumberg said. "We pushed the time limit more than any other year. The past two years, we've finished under two hours, but this year we finished with just 15 minutes left."
Architectural Edge has not only won the local awards for their structures, but have also won national and international awards for their creative use of cans.
"We wanted to do something that was simple so it could be read easily and large enough so we could get the curves and the shape to make it more cohesive," Stumberg said of the 12-foot Toucan bird.
Preston said that the amount of cans used to make each structure has continuously grown during the past three years.
"Two years ago, only two teams had more than 2,000 cans," Preston said. "This year, every team had more than 2,000 cans."
"Canstruction" is a non-profit organizations that holds annual design and build competitions to construct giant-sized structures made entirely out of canned food.
"We originally got into the Canstruction because it was a fun competition, but the number of people Helping Hands serves, it's a great way for us to give back," Stumberg.
For more information about Canstruction Belton or to see pictures from this year's competition, visit www.helpinghandsbelton.org/canstruction.