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For Immediate Release

For inquiries, contact:
Chuck Darrow
Canstruction Co-Chair
(626) 926-3064

Doug Vogel
Community Action Partnership of Orange County
714-897-6670 ext. 3151

WATG & R.D. Olson: “Lending a Helping Hand…One Can at a Time”
WATG & R.D. Olson: “Lending a Helping Hand…One Can at a Time”

COSTA MESA, CA (September 28, 2015) –Canstruction Orange County and the OC Food Bank are pleased to announce the winners of the 8th Annual Canstruction Orange County Design/Build Competition!

The competition brought together nineteen local architectural, engineering, and design teams to create phenomenal structures built entirely out of canned food, all built in under 12 hours. This event is held each September during the month of September in conjunction with the Festival of Children.

This year the structures were hosted at both South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa and ARTIC in Anaheim.

20 Disnelyand
Disneyland Resorts | Design & Engineering: “If Elephants Can Fly, We CAN End Hunger!”

“During this year’s Canstruction Orange County competition, the assortment of structures created went well above and beyond our expectations. From Star Wars characters to Disneyland rides, the creations were astounding,” said Betsy Nickless, Canstruction Orange County Event Co-Chair. “The winning teams really did a wonderful job of creatively using tens of thousands of cans to inspire OC residents to do their part to end hunger.”

The following Canstruction winners were decided by a panel of judges comprised of Chiron Stewart, builder of the World’s Largest Surfboard; Wing Lam, Wahoo’s Fish Taco; Stephen Mensinger, Mayor of Costa Mesa; John Danielian, American Institute of Architects; and Leonard Joseph, Thornton Tomasetti.

HONORABLE MENTION – Gregg Maedo + Associates: “The Force Awakens to Fight Hunger” (Total Cans: 3,369) depicting a Star Wars Jedi Knight kneeling in front of a wall, lightsaber in hand.

HONORABLE MENTION – KTGY: “Being the ‘FORCE’ Against Hunger” (4,560) depicting the head of a Star Wars Stormtrooper.

MOST CANS – WATG & R.D. Olson: “Lending a Helping Hand…One Can at a Time” (Total Cans: 9,315) depicts Baymax from the movie, Big Hero 6.

BEST MEAL – McCarthy Building Companies: “Food for Friends” (Total Cans: 7,410) depicts Nemo, Dory, and Bruce from the movie, Finding Nemo.

STRUCTURAL INGENUITY – WATG & R.D. Olson: “Lending a Helping Hand…One Can at a Time”.

BEST USE OF LABELS – Disneyland Resorts | Design & Engineering: “If Elephants Can Fly, We CAN End Hunger!” (Total Cans: 4,200) depicts the ‘Dumbo the Flying Elephant’ ride at Disneyland.

JURY’S FAVORITE –Fluor Enterprises: “California Dreamin’ of an End to World Hunger” (Total Cans: 4,285) depicting a classic Ford Woody Wagon on the beach with a surf board and cooler, as an ode to California’s 1960s surf culture.

PEOPLE’S CHOICE – WATG & R.D. Olson: “Lending a Helping Hand…One Can at a Time” (8,058 votes).

Fluor Enterprises: “California Dreamin’ of an End to World Hunger”
Fluor Enterprises: “California Dreamin’ of an End to World Hunger”

At the completion of the exhibition, all 85,991 cans are donated to the OC Food Bank.

The collection of the cans and approximately $57,000 in monetary donations, will allow the OC Food Bank to provide around 527,660 meals to low-income Orange County residents.

“Canstruction is all about feeding hungry families while raising the public’s awareness that hunger, even in affluent societies, is a persistent problem requiring everyone’s help” said Mark Lowry, Director of the OC Food Bank. “Hunger and poverty are huge issues in Orange County, and we are grateful to the participants and sponsors for all of their hard work. With the support of our community, we raised nearly 3 times the amount food and money compared to previous years, which will go a long way in feeding local children, families, seniors, veterans, and individuals with disabilities.”

This deliciously inventive charity competition currently takes place in 150 cities around the world, including North America, Australia, South America, Europe, and Asia. If you are interested in information on how you can support Canstruction and help end hunger by feeding Orange County’s low-income families, please contact (714) 897-6670 x3400,, or visit Together, we can eliminate hunger in Orange County.


The OC Food Bank, a program of Community Action Partnership of Orange County (CAPOC), has evolved into Orange County’s most comprehensive hunger-relief organization. Our aim is to make a positive impact in people’s lives by helping them meet basic needs and strengthen their support system. The OC Food Bank serves children, families, seniors, veterans, and disabled individuals. We have a stake in the health of our community and the ability to create real change in the lives of our neighbors. In 2014, CAPOC distributed more than 20 million pounds of food to Orange County residents. In addition to direct support, the OC Food Bank supplies 400 local charities with food.



This annual event was initiated by the Society for Design Administration (SDA) in 1992. Canstruction® events are now held in over 150 cities all over the world.During the first Canstruction®  event, the Seattle Chapter of the Society of Design Administration held a food drive among architectural and engineering firms in the Seattle area. A team of architects and engineers was chosen to build something out of all the cans assembled. Staring at a sea of cans, they decided to make a topographical map of the state of Washington. All of the food collected from the food drive was donated to the Seattle Second Harvest Food Bank, Food LifeLine. Their efforts resulted in a full range of coverage in the Seattle newspaper and the term “Canstruction®” was coined.

In order to generate more enthusiasm for the food drive concept in the design industry, the New York and Denver chapters of the SDA took the concept and tweaked it, turning it into a full-scale design/build competition in 1993. Under this framework, architectural and engineering firms entered teams to compete in designing and building structures that would be judged and awarded. The larger their structure, the more food would get donated.

In 1999 Canstruction® obtained 501(c)(3) status as a charitable organization, with over seventeen million pounds of food having been donated to aid in the fight against hunger.  Typical hosts include local chapters of SDA, AIA, and SMPS. Orange County Canstruction® is hosted by these three organizations together.


Festival of Children Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that serves to bring together and coordinate the efforts of charities, companies and individuals who actively work to improve the lives of children. Festival of Children Foundation gives a voice, guidance and support. 100% of the administrative costs are covered by designated funding, allowing donations to go further in direct support of programs and services that improve the lives of children. For more information, please visit

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