Students on the Lory Student Center Plaza caught a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben and the Leaning Tower of Pisa all in one place Thursday.
Thirteen teams competed to build the best structure out of donated cans of food for CANstruction. The structures had to involve the theme of hunger awareness, and the end results included the I’m-Full Tower, the Time to Stop Hunger clock tower and the Leaning Tower of Peas.
“It gives everybody kind of a fun way to participate,” said Amy Pezzani, executive director of the Food Bank of Larimer County and one of the celebrity judges for this year’s event.
CANstruction is one of the competitions leading up to the canned food collection drive, Cans Around the Oval, on Oct. 12. The competitive spirit shined strong at the Plaza through team signs and cheers.
The competition also increased the amount of food donated. According to Pam Kochis, a graduate intern on the Campus Recreation team, her team’s design of the Cam the Ram symbol consisted of about 1,300 cans. Several other designs contained more than 1,000 cans.
“There’s a lot more food here than I can imagine,” Pezzani said.
Pezzani and two other celebrity judges’ votes counted for 50 percent of the teams’ votes. The other half came from passers-by on the Plaza. Pezzani’s favorite was Lincoln Junior High’s clock tower.
Julie Hansen, an art teacher and CANstruction team leader for Lincoln, encouraged the kids to take charge.
“I think it’s great,” she said. “We’re doing art, social studies with the hunger theme and physics in just figuring out how to build this.”
The teams that placed in the top four received extra points toward their total score for the Cans Around the Oval competition, but all participating teams received an extra 100 points.
Westfall Hall and Campus Recreation tied for fourth place, Lincoln Junior High came in third, the Pre-Veterinary Club placed second and Allison Hall took first with the Leaning Tower of Peas, a tall cylindrical structure being pushed by a smaller figure of a person.
Its motto was “Pushing over Hunger One Can at a Time.”
“We have great designs and stuff, but we always get beat out by the more aesthetically pleasing ones,” said April Mata, a freshman chemical and biomedical engineering major on the Allison Hall team. “But I guess it worked this year.”
Organizers were also pleased with the faux-buildings.
“A lot of prep goes into this and it’s worth every ounce of it,” said Barb Kistler, director of the Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement. “It proves that people can be of service to others and have fun doing it.”
Staff writer Callie Moench can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.