Us­ing a huge Lego col­lec­tion for good

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - YOUR PLACE - MATTHEW SAL­MONS

Doors opened once again last week to see what is quite likely the Sel­wyn dis­trict’s largest Lego col­lec­tion, for a good cause.

Rolle­ston’s Rachel and Ja­son deVries’ enor­mous col­lec­tion of the pop­u­lar plas­tic build­ing blocks fea­tured in their third Christ­mas grotto dis­play at their Bronte Way home.

The event raised $3000 from the $2 en­try fee and a Sun­day BBQ for the fam­ily of West Mel­ton School pupil Honor, who had cere­bral palsy. It was the sec­ond year that the cou­ple’s com­pany, House of Bricks, had run the event to raise funds for Honor.

‘‘We wanted to do some­thing good in the com­mu­nity, we wanted to help peo­ple,’’ Rachel said.

Rachel and friend Perdita Bakker had worked with Honor as Porse car­ers when she was younger.

The dis­plays in the grotto in­cluded func­tional chairs, tiny towns, machines, re­mote con­trolled cars and large wall pan­els made up of 20,000 bricks. With the help of their three kids, the fam­ily had spent three months pre­par­ing the dis­plays.

‘‘It’s not a full time job, it’s mostly play­ing around in the evenings,’’ Rachel said.

The pair of pan­els for ex­am­ple took 50 hours to com­plete and had been ready since Fe­bru­ary. Rachel said she was now champ­ing at the bit to use the parts for some­thing new.

Ja­son was the first col­lec­tor in the fam­ily, start­ing his col­lec­tion at age four, she said.

‘‘I got into it six years ago, when I pur­chased 4000 two by one bricks,’’ she said.

Although Rachel said she bought the bricks for her kids, they ended up go­ing into a model

‘‘We wanted to do some­thing good in the com­mu­nity, we wanted to help peo­ple.’’

Rachel deVries

of their house and ig­nit­ing her pas­sion for the plas­tic build­ing blocks.

‘‘For me, it’s been a real art out­break. I’m not an artis­tic per­son nor­mally, un­til I get my hands on Lego.

‘‘We have no clue how much is in our per­sonal col­lec­tion.’’

With more 100,000 in­di­vid­ual pieces packed into tubs for use by the com­pany, the cou­ple did school vis­its, cor­po­rate events, fundrais­ers and com­mu­nity days.

‘‘We wanted to in­spire that next gen­er­a­tion of peo­ple who want to be en­gi­neers, ar­chi­tects. Who love to be hands on.’’

MATTHEW SAL­MONS/STUFF

Perdita Bakker and Rachel deVries of House of Bricks chill out on Lego chairs.

West Mel­ton School pupils dig into one of four huge lego piles at the grotto.

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