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Beline Obeid
November 29, 2012
Students at Parcells Middle School are making an art of food donations, conducting their own CANstruction Jr., competition and readying the canned creations for display at the 37th annual Parcells Holiday Arts and Crafts Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1.

CANstruction is an art competition, conceived by the late Cheri Melillo in New York City in 1992, in which the local community — in Parcells’ case, groups of students — comes together to construct murals or statues of canned foods before dismantling and donating them to a local food bank.

Parcells’ National Junior Honors Society elected Gleaners as its donation recipient and “Proud to be an AmeriCAN” as the premiere competition’s theme. Structures consist of no less than 1,000 cans and must adhere to the chosen theme.

Interest in hosting a CANstruction competiion at Parcells piqued in October when, with guidance from NJHS faculty advisor Deborah Peck and parent Sheri Kam, NJHS student officers Ashley Carroll, Mora Downs, Lindsey Hoshaw, Clarissa Kam and Olivia Randazzo visited Wayne State University’s Science and Engineering Department, where six teams were preparing similar structures for a regional competition. Within two weeks of the visit, the officers met and organized and planned the full-fledged competition, choosing the Bazaar as its ultimate destination.

“Shoppers and volunteers who attend the Bazaar will be in for a real treat on the second floor,” Sheri Kam said in a press release. “Of course they will visit the full lunch service café upstairs, but they will be able to view the competition as the structures are being built and judged in the afternoon.”

Parcells principal Cathryn Armstrong and four others are judging the competition, awarding the hard-working artists with crystal trophies.

“The Parcells Holiday Art and Craft Bazaar Committee would like to encourage the community to bring cans when they come to the Bazaar,” Kam said in the release. “We will have boxes at each entrance to assist the Bazaar goers with their generosity.”

The Bazaar is the oldest and second largest show to feature hand-crafted items in Southeast Michigan. It’s entirely staffed by Michigan crafters and includes crafts from hundreds of local artisans and talents, as well as reusable, market-size shopping bags, full café service, ice cream and a valet service for parking.

Entry fee is $3 per person and sold only at the door. No strollers are permitted on the premises during shopping hours.

For more information, visit canstruction.org, facebook.com/parcellsbazaar or gpschools.schoolwires.net/domain/597.

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