Most people don’t have to consult a diagram to decide where they want to place cans of sardines.
But then again, most people aren’t like David Mandelkern with Davidson Architecture & Engineering, who on Wednesday was building Kansas City’s well-known Pomona fountain out of cans of food.
“We have 2,600 different cans comprising anything from tuna, sardines, Vienna sausages, soup, mixed fruit and water bottles,” he said.
Mandelkern and his teammates were one of the 15 teams competing in this year’s Canstruction benefit for Harvesters at Oak Park Mall in Overland Park.
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Teams of Kansas City architects, engineers and contractors built sculptures out of canned food and other nonperishable food items.
“This is our 14th year (for Canstruction), and we keep saying they can’t possibly get more creative than they have in the past,” said Sarah Biles, interim director of communications for Harvesters.
“Every year they surprise us,” she said.
This year, teams built twisters, fountains, Kauffman Stadium, a Royals baseball cap and even Olaf, the snowman from the hit movie “Frozen.”
The event is a way to raise awareness about hunger in the Kansas City area as well as to benefit Harvesters.
The sculptures will be a free display from Thursday through March 5 at Oak Park Mall.
When the exhibit closes, the cans will be donated to Harvesters. Over the years, the competition has provided more than 324,000 meals to the hungry.
Last year, teams used more then 44,000 cans of food, which helped Harvesters provide 32,636 meals.
Canstruction is an international program of the Society for Design Administration. The creations will be judged, and the six winning entries will represent Kansas City in the national Canstruction competition.
People can vote online to determine the People’s Choice Award. To see the entries, go to www.harvesters.org. Each vote will include a $1 donation to Harvesters.
The team from Clark Richardson & Biskup was building Kauffman Stadium in support of the Royals and their postseason run last season.
“We are using 6,300 cans this year,” said Daniel Matlack, an electrical engineer with Clark Richardson & Biskup. “That’s quite a few.”
The competition, Matlack said, is an easy way for employees to help the community.
“It’s a lot of fun, and it’s a great way to help those in need,” he said.