The Oak Park Education Foundation’s first ever LEGOpalooza was a fun LEGO-building competition and fundraiser! Held at FitzGerald’s in Berwyn, the event featured 18 teams of between 4-6 people, and many more came to cheer on the builders. The funds raised by this event help fund OPEF’s free, hands-on enrichment programs for District 97 children and teachers.
Click on slideshow below to see all the photos.
There were two competitive categories – build a car, and build a Chicago or Oak Park landmark. Teams competed in one or both categories, and the competition was fierce!
Car Engineering Winners:
- Fastest Car: Team 2 (Beth Hayes, Steve Nations, Tim Rasmussen, Bob and Inga Simitz).
- Strongest Car: Team 10 (Mariannell and Tom Bassett-Dilley, Scott and Susan Caudell, Kathryn Humphreys, Finn Murphy). See the video of the strongest car in action (and if you look very carefully, you will actually see it move!).
Most Artistic Landmark:
- Winner: Best reference to a current culturally significant building that cannot or will not be able to be referenced next year – Tasty Dog by Team 3 (Matt and Marta Cote, Carrie and Mike Powers, Ted and Jen Staszak)
- Runner Up: For best interpretation of a non-building material (water) – Buckingham Fountain by Team 11 (Kristi and Michael Oltman, Kimberly Plaxton-Drobot)
Most Accurate Landmark:
- Winner: Sometimes less is more – The Farnsworth House (Mies van der Rohe) by Team 1 (Monica Chadha, Wendy Giardina, Cathy Mason and Barb Ryan, Michael Paul, Craig Yu)
- Runner Up: Chicago Water Tower by Team 15 (Betty Lau and TJ Scott, Rebecca and Alan Porterfield, Jenny and Dave Roen)
All Landmark Submissions:
- Oak Park – Volvo Dealership, Buckingham Fountain, Scoville Park, Tasty Dog, and Percy Julian Middle School
- Chicago Area – Farnsworth House, Chicago Water Tower, Chicago Water Tower (Surviving the Great Chicago Fire), Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier, Ashland ‘L’ Stop, Mad Max Navy Pier, and Chicago Picasso Sculpture (RIP – it got dropped before it could be judged)
We have so many people to thank for their help with the event. Awesome local businesses donated a wide array of delicious appetizers and desserts:
- Alpine Food Shop
- Blue Plate Catering
- Buzz Cafe
- Capri Ristorante
- Jerusalem Cafe
- New Rose Catering
- Pete’s Fresh Market
- Sugar Beet Co-op
- Tee Tee’s Sweets & Treats
We had a number of great LEGO-related raffle items from the following generous donors:
- Frank Lloyd Wright Trust
- Geppetto’s Toy Box
- Principal John McCauley
- Museum of Science & Industry (Brick by Brick Exhibit)
- Oak Park Visitors’ Center
And thanks to all the wonderful people who helped put on the event itself:
- Karen Coke (chair, planning committee)
- Matt Cote (planning committee)
- Lisa Kitzman (planning committee)
- Gretchen Junker (planning committee and LEGO wrangler)
- Bruce Rindler (emcee)
- Lindsay Bruce (emcee wrangler)
- Paul Goyette (photographer)
- Sergio Firpo (car judge)
- Tom Kennedy (car judge)
- Jon Pohl (car judge)
- Steve Ryniewicz of Studio R Architecture (architecture accuracy judge)
- Jill Kramer Goldstein (landmark artistry judge)
- Julian Rindler (award designer)
And finally, thanks to Josie Ryan and FitzGerald’s for being such gracious hosts! Please be sure to support the businesses that support us!