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Children's Building Contest Always Popular at Home & Garden Show

by and on March 15, 2014 7:45 AM

On top of it being the 30th anniversary of the Home and Garden Show it's also the 10th anniversary of the popular Children's Building Contest.

This year, the contest will take place on Sat., March 15 beginning at noon.

"The contest has always been a highlight of the (show)," says Don Gilmore, co-chairman of the Home and Garden Show.

According to Gilmore, the committee starts to plan the Children's Building Contest in July, and a lot of time and energy goes into this event. "It's a long time and a lot of details to get people registered. But when the kids come, it's all worthwhile."

"We think it's a worthwhile event," says Sue Swain of SPE Federal Credit Union. "The kids get to be creative and learn about what goes on behind building a house."

The contest has three age groups: 4- to 6-year-olds, 7-to 9-year-olds and 10- to 11-year-olds. Children in the 4-to 6-year-old group will use Lincoln Logs, and children in the 7-to 9-year old and 10- to 11-year old groups will use Legos.

First, second and third prizes will be awarded in each group. Each child participating in the contest will receive a goody bag of prizes and a treat after they compete.

This year, participants of the Children's Building Contest are encouraged to bring a donation for the Park Forest Day Nursery and Preschool. Swain calls this "Kids helping kids" since most of the items that can be donated are regularly used for classroom projects. Items children, or anyone coming to the Home and Garden Show can bring, include white construction paper, play dough, pipe cleaners, children's toothpaste, children's multivitamins, Clorox spray or wipes and educational games.

The Children's Building Contest is free to all participants, but pre-registration is required. This can be done by visiting or calling (814) 231-8813. Each age group is limited to 40 participants, and spots have been filling up fast this year, Swain says.

There is no cost for children ages 12 and under to enter the show, and each preregistered participant will receive one free ticket so a guardian can accompany him or her. Other family members who wish to attend the Home and Garden Show or to see the contest can purchase tickets at Gate B of the Bryce Jordan Center.

SPE Federal Credit Union has been sponsoring the Children's Building Contest for several years. Swain says, "It's a good opportunity for us to reach kids."

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This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.

Brittany is the staff writer for The Centre County Gazette.
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