A Display That’s Really Cantastic!

Jade Moon
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Wednesday - August 23, 2006
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Cool event at Pearlridge Center. It’s called “Canstruction,” a competition between teams of architects who build sculptures using canned food. Seventeen teams of architects, designers, builders and engineers competed, and you will be amazed at what these creative professionals can do with tins of Spam and tuna - from an outrigger canoe surfing a curling wave, to a giant good luck cat, to a really big slippah squashing a giant roach. Each sculpture contains from 1,000 to 13,000 cans of food - and all of it goes to the Hawaii Foodbank.

The competition is the brainchild of Pearlridge general manager Fred Paine, who brought the idea from the Mainland. He connected with the Honolulu chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the Hawaii Foodbank and offered to host the event. Foodland, Meadow Gold Dairies, HonBlue, Oceanic Time Warner Cable and Cox Radio also sponsor the event.

I can tell you that when I was there the exhibit was generating a lot of excitement. Parents were taking pictures of their kids standing in front of the structures. And you can still vote for your favorite by donating food. One can equals one vote - just drop it off in the containers located in front of each design. The structures will be “decanstructed” on Aug. 27 and the votes (cans) tallied. After the “People’s Choice” winner is announced, all of the food will be trucked over the Foodbank warehouse.

There’s even a contest to try to guess the number of cans used in all the designs. The winner of the drawing will receive a trip to Disneyland for four people.

The biggest winners? The Foodbank and the thousands of people who will benefit.

three star

I had the honor of giving the commencement address at the University of Hawaii at Manoa last week. It was a little bit surreal. I was a UH summer grad almost two decades ago, but unlike the audience sitting before me at the Stan Sheriff Center, on that Sunday I chose not to attend the ceremony. I had just gotten the job with KGMB and felt I couldn’t - or should-n’t - take the time off.

As I peered into the faces of men and women beaming as they received the symbol of their accomplishment, I felt a pang of regret. This was big for them. They were acknowledging a milestone in their lives and their families were there to cheer them on. Why did I feel compelled, so many years ago, to reject the celebration in order to “get on with real life?”

Why did I minimize a truly significant event? And why didn’t I let my friends and family share my hard-won victory?

If I could do it again, I would attend that graduation. I would go to all those anniversary and birthday parties I missed because I was “too busy.” I would honor each and every one because they are the true touchstones of our lives.

So being able to come back to campus two decades later was quite special for me. I tried to give them the speech I would have wanted to hear had I been sitting in that gym waiting to begin a new chapter in life.

It was good to be a part of something so personal.

It was good to celebrate.

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