Lego building competition benefits Habitat for Humanity
As the annual Habitat for Humanity Building Block Blitz was about to begin Saturday, Tristan Fick was distraught.
The 10-year-old from Harrison and Grandview Upper Elementary School in Highlands School District was the only member of his team to show up for the competition. The prospect of building a Lego blocks structure to compete with those of 10 other teams seemed daunting by himself.
But Garrett Frost, 8, also of Harrison, happened to be walking by and jumped in to help Tristan. After about an hour and a half, their creation was nearly finished.
“It's like a future house in space,” Tristan said, smiling.
Garrett, handling a microphone like a pro, explained the house's features, complete with robots and a crash wall for spaceships to the judges. As a result, the team took the top prize for presentation.
The event was held in the Macy's Court at the Pittsburgh Mills mall with teams of youngsters busily working at tables set up in public view. Each team raised money to benefit Habitat in order to compete.
The Rutkowski brothers — Maddox, 9, and Hayden, 10 — of Fox Chapel comprised “Team Rutkowski” and built a multi-level house with a swimming pool in back. They raised about $200 of the $3,175 raised by the 11 teams entered.
“We just went around our neighborhood door-to-door, collecting,” Maddox said.
Joe Guzzo, 11, of Valley Middle School took top honors for fundraising, collecting $453. For his efforts he had his pick of several prizes and chose an autographed jersey of Pittsburgh Penguins forward James Neal.
“It's the best ever,” said Diane Belitskus, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Allegheny Valley. “Best participation, best prizes.”
The teams ranged from the “Martin Mega-Builders” of New Kensington's Martin Elementary School to “The 10th Street Boys” of Oakmont to a group whose members attend St. Scholastica Catholic Church in Aspinwall, aptly named “The Roamin' Catholics.”
The Roamin' Catholics — Jesse Dillon of Indiana Township, and Nathan VanDermark and Brooke Stillion of Aspinwall — took the top prize for “Most Creative” structure.
“It's a lighthouse,” Jesse Dillon explained. “It's solar- and wind-powered. We did the lighthouse because Jesus is the light of the world.”
Asked why he wanted to help Habitat, Nathan, 12, replied, “Because there are people who are out there who don't have a house like we do.”
It's that kind of comment that Belitskus likes to hear.
“(The event) was never meant to be a moneymaker,” Belitskus said. “It was meant to show the kids what Habitat does out in the community.”
She said the proceeds from the event will be used for the extensive renovation of a house on Leishman Avenue in Arnold. That house will become the home of Nicole Fiedor, an eight-year Air Force veteran and single mother of two boys, one of whom is handicapped, Belitskus said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Indiana Township suspect accused of raping juvenile
- Program aims to drive message home
- Buffalo Township grandma pleads guilty to selling hundreds of pounds of weed
- Police: New Ken drug suspect, Brandon Allen, used wrong name
- 7 in custody after New Kensington drug raid
- Saxonburg Boulevard in West Deer still closed Wednesday afternoon
- 2 stores robbed in Alle-Kiski Valley
- Upper Burrell man charged with sexually assaulting boy
- Leechburg councilwoman resigns; applicants sought
- New Kensington officials eager to demolish 3 fire-ravaged buildings
- Springdale to stick with police chief