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Brock: CanArtopia was a huge success

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Tuesday night, the inaugural Dickinson CanArtopia was held at the Biesiot Activities Center.

Press Publisher Harvey Brock

What started as a response to a need by the Amen Food Pantry ended in a community event that more than accomplished the original goal to stock the pantry. Thanks to the community, the event exceeded all of our goals.

Ron Keller, director of the Amen Food Pantry, approached Press inside sales manager Bonita Ellis to see if we would be willing to hold a food drive to stock the depleted shelves of the pantry. Bonita told Ron she would ask me and, together, the three of us brainstormed for a plan to solicit more resources than just The Press.

After a little research based on something someone once saw somewhere, the CanArtopia idea was decided on.

CanArtopia would have been just an idea if not for the hard work of Bonita, who convinced 16 groups to put together a team. The rules seemed simple: create a sculpture with at least 250 non-perishable food items. Those who participated may have told Bonita no if they had known how much work it was. But then again, if they had known how much fun it was going to be, they would have been glad they said yes.

There were 16 incredible sculptures as you can see in today’s paper on Page A10. There were three categories for awards: People’s Choice Business, People’s Choice Non-Profit and Judge’s Choice.

Drum roll please.

And the winner is the Amen Food Pantry and the needy they serve.

CanArtopia may have required some heavy lifting, but nothing compared to what the volunteers at the pantry do all year long. Together, 16 teams and the community donated more than 10,000 non-perishable food items. Some folks say second place is really the first loser, but not in this case because congratulations are due to all of the teams. You all deserve a first-place plaque. Everyone seemed to have a great time and people were already talking about next year.

OK, finally, before I announce the awards, a quick thanks to the Amen Food Pantry, all of the teams, sponsors and KDIX Radio for promotion, folks who voted, Pepsi, Dan’s Super Market, TMI, Target Logistics and the kind folks who helped load and unload the mountain of food.

The winners are:

People’s Choice Award, Business: Consolidated for “Crabby.”

People’s Choice, Non-Profit: Trinity High School for “Twelve Story Glory.”

Judge’s Choice: Dickinson Ready Mix and Highland Engineering for the “Angry Bird.”

Brock is the publisher of The Dickinson Press. Email him at