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The CANstruction A-CAN-emy Awards & Gala was last night at Merchandise Mart and it was such a fun event! I attended and wanted you to give you readers a behind the scenes experience… so click away! As you know from our previous entry, CANstruction is a unique charity event that raises donations for the Greater Chicago Food Depository by having teams build amazing creations out of cans and other food items.  It is the largest donation of food in a single food drive in the city of Chicago – pretty impressive!

The A-CAN-emy Awards & Gala was pretty fabulous, I must say. I got there a little after it started so I walked around and got to see all of the incredibly creative can sculptures before it got more crowded. The sculptures were amazing, I had no idea cans could be made into such beautiful works of art (my personal favorite was “InterCANnected”), and the best part was that it was all for a great cause!  The crowd for the gala was pretty diverse, younger & older professionals who came by after work.  There was an open bar service with their very own “CAN-tini” – which was delicious & creative!  Whole Foods provided light hors d’oeuvres and delicious desserts were provided by Cacao Sweets & Treats (the chocolate champagne cupcake is to die for!)

The awards portion of the evening was the most anticipated part of the night!  NBC 5’s Natalie Martinez was the emcee for the evening and there was a panel of celebrity judges who announced winners of various awards.  The celeb judges included Windy City Live host Ryan Chiaverini, Chef Michael Kornick of mk, Chef Jared Van Camp of Nellcôte, Peter Exley from Architecture is Fun, and of course, our very own Billy Dec!  The SmithGroup JJR Team, who constructed “InterCANnected,” walked away with two awards, one for the Make No Small Cans Award and the other, the Structural Ingenuity Award.  The other big winner of the night was the KJWW Engineering ConsultantsVOABerglund Team who constructed “A Healthy Balance” and walked away the winners of both the juror’s favorite and the crowd favorite; as part of their prize, they will be headed to the National competition in a couple of weeks!  Best of luck to them as they rep Chicago with their awesome design!

To see more pictures of the awards & gala, check out the CANstruction photo album on Facebook!

Alex Chwastek

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