October 19, 2015

In April of this year, we were fortunate enough to find out that the 2015 CANstruction Orlandotheme was Hunger Heroes and get a jump on planning for the October 4th build. We got our team together in house and then took on the task of figuring out who our community partner would be. We decided that a local school, Fern Creek Elementary was the best match for us. That particular elementary school benefits directly from Second Harvest Food Bank on a regular basis. How better to drive home the message of the Hunger Hero theme than to work with those who understand first hand, the impact that Second Harvest and Canstruction have on Central Florida’s hungry?

The Fern Creek fourth and fifth grade gifted classes were on board and ready for the challenge. Now it was time to decide who our hunger hero would be. Lots of great ideas came from both the C&P team and the students; finally we settled upon Johnny Appleseed. As one of the earliest American champions of the hungry, Johnny Appleseed put the needs of others ahead of his own. He lived off the kindness of strangers and headed out west ahead of early American settlers to make sure there was a crop that could help sustain them; this surely qualified him as a Hunger Hero in our book.12072722_10153711315909809_8581623454645817298_n

Before we knew it, the time had come to begin raising funds, so that we could buy the specific cans needed to build our structure. We started contacting business partners and vendors and were humbled by the level of support we received. Thank you to Williams Company, Windcrest Development Group, HGR Construction, Commercial Design Services, Inc., Kelsey Construction, Landreth Lighting, Patcraft, Philco Construction, Rowland & Co., Steve and Carol Duffy, Jeff Sweeney and Joanna Bade for your generous donations. We could not have done this without your support.

2015 C&P Canstruction Structure
Soon materials had been bought and it was time to practice building. The C&P team, along with the Fern Creek students gave up parts of their weekends to practice putting together the structure, composed of a tree, campfire and mush pot to represent Johnny Appleseed. Our design statement was submitted and the cans were counted.

Nearly six months after this process began build day was upon us. The practice paid off and soon our Johnny Appleseed structure was up and on display with thirteen others at Fashion Square Mall. Our structure, The Legacy Tree, was rigged with an audio recording that would play when motion was detected. The voices of our community partners at Fern Creek rang through the mall telling Johnny Appleseed’s story.

After almost a week of voting, it was time for awards night. Our breath was held as we waited for the winners to be announced. When all was said and done, our team came home with two awards, the “Wiley Force In Action” and “Patron’s Choice”. Being the Patron’s Choice winner also meant that our community partner, Fern Creek Elementary, received a $250 donation and that the kids that worked so hard to help our team were able to experience winning. A great experience was had by all and another CANstruction is in the books!

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