Building a better future Lego designers show creations to benefit Geisinger Janet Weis Children's Hospital Lego stars
SELINSGROVE - Young minds created robots, movie scenes, American flags, even a mining operation - all in an effort to help sick children feel better and let their imaginations soar as well.
About 20 "design-and-build experts" came to the Susquehanna Valley Mall Sunday for the third annual Lego Building Contest, part of the final day of activities for the 94KX Cares for Kids Radiothon that benefitted the Geisinger Janet Weis Children's Hospital.
The Lego contest was the brainchild of Jordan Lehman, 16, of Northumberland, who wanted to do something to help the Children's Miracle Network (CMN).
"I remember how much fun I had playing with Legos and everyone loves playing with them, so that's where the idea came from," he said.
Girl, 3, calls audible
Contestants brought their artistic endeavors to the mall to be judged by the public. They collected donations that translated to votes.
One of the youngest competitors, Tara Golten, 3, of Lewisburg, created "Tara's Car Repair," though her father, Ian, said the plan was for something different.
"She is always playing with Legos and loves to build displays based on Knoebels Amusement Resort," Ian Golten said. "She had one built yesterday that we were going to enter, but she decided today to go with something different."
Nick Gray, 14, of Selinsgrove, created a toy with a toy, using Legos to build Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots in the Transformers universe. It took him about 40 minutes.
"The toughest part was figuring out how to make the transformation," he said.
One LEGO at a time
While many created playsets and vehicles using the instructions provided, several contestants were even more ingenious.
Brothers Brandon and Jared Emmert, of Watsontown, created ships based on their real life counterparts, the USS Shiloh, a guided missile cruiser, and USS Pennsylvania, a hybrid destroyer-battleship.
Between the two crafts, the brothers estimated they used about 1,500 Lego bricks and accessories.
The event raised more than $200 for CMN, under the slogan "Making Miracles happen one LEGO design at a time."
"It is really amazing to see what these kids came up with," Lehman said.