Party Like A 5 Year Old!

That’s exactly what we did. The idea came from the exuberant mind of my aunt/coach/boss (she prefers the first 2 titles), who wanted to celebrate her 50th birthday in a very special way. So she dropped the 0 and came up with an event-filled weekend that tapped into our inner-child. There was kite flying, arcade games, balloon toss, bumper cars, bowling, and home-made funny hats. Months before, we discussed which events she wanted (and her love of Pac-man), and I designed the invite seen below as my gift to her. I made versions in Adobe Illustrator for print and web. All in all,  the entire weekend was loaded with fantastic activities, friends, and laughter, but one thing I found truly commendable was that she requested that she be given no material possessions. Instead, she asked that attendees donate their time or the money they would have spent on a gift toward 2 local charities:

WOW:  Women Empowering Women – A Helping Hand for Single Mothers! They provide “Helping Hands” ready to help educate, inspire and “empower” single mothers to seek out solutions to their challenges. Help by donating money (their first preference), beauty products, clothes, and diapers or volunteer. Their website provides other ways to help.

Community Project for Seniors  – Their mission is to enrich the lives of low income senior citizens who reside in subsidized housing. They provide critical services for elderly individuals without a family support system, and mobility-challenged individuals over the age of fifty. Help by donating money, toiletries, blankets, games, cleaning supplies, or food.  A detailed list can be found on their website.

Birthday Invite Created in Adobe Illustrator


Crazy Canstruction® for a Cause

Canstruction? No, it’s not a typo. Canstruction® is an international competition in which teams build theme based structures using (you guessed it) cans. After the competition, all food items are donated to a local food bank. I ran across the Canstruction® Orlando website where I was blown away by what participants have come up with. Their rules are simple. A structure must be built with a minimum of 1000 cans, but no glass containers. Cans of all sizes are acceptable, but no pet food. They strongly discourage food with poor nutritional value, so no soda or junk food (no alcohol either). Props, boxes, and bags are not really encouraged too. If judges see that something can be done with cans, a team that used a prop to do the same will lose points.


Can-tartica by HKS Architects - Honorable Mention

Canstruction® Orlando’s 2010 theme was Zoo Can Do It!, teaming up with the Central Florida Zoo. Building took place in the Fashion Square Mall. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to see the exhibit, it was de-canstructed today. Cans were donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

Stand Tall! Stick Your Neck Out Against Hunger! by Burke Hogue Mills - Juror's Favorite

Canstruction®  Orlando has also created the World’s Largest Structure of Canned Food consisting of 115,000 cans. Whoa! They were approached by Walt Disney Entertainment to help launch their “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” campaign and the rest goes down in Guinness World Record History. Read about their journey here.

Like I said, Canstruction® is international (blame Canada) and has been going on for quite some time now. So perform a Google Image Search for Canstruction, you’ll be in for a visual treat.

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