Build­ing per­fec­tion

Fa­thers, sons bond over Lego chal­lenge

Post Tribune (Sunday) - - News -

With the hol­i­day rush fast ap­proach­ing, fam­i­lies may find it dif­fi­cult to spend qual­ity time with their chil­dren.

One re­cent pro­gram, the “Go, Go, Lego” event at High­land’s Lin­coln Cen­ter, ad­dressed that con­cern. Geared to­ward fa­thers and sons, the pro­gram wel­comed 18 area par­tic­i­pants for an evening of cre­ativ­ity and ca­ma­raderie.

“I don’t know what we’re go­ing to do tonight, but I know it will be fun,” said Do­minic De­gen, 6, of High­land. “I love Le­gos; I have a lot of them.”

His dad, Gregg, also was open to the mys­tery of what was in store for the par­tic­i­pants.

“What a great op­por­tu­nity this (event) is for the dads and sons,” he said. “Qual­ity time and a chance for bond­ing.”

That sen­ti­ment con­tin­ued through­out the room dur­ing pizza time, so­cial­iz­ing and the chal­lenge of build­ing three Lego items.

When High­land Parks and Re­cre­ation su­per­vi­sor Alyce Van Drunen first de­cided to of­fer the unique fa­ther and son get-to­gether, the fo­cus of a like-minded chal­lenge for the men was ob­vi­ous.

“Who doesn’t like Le­gos?” she said, with a laugh. “And, this friendly com­pe­ti­tion gives them a chance to hang out.”

The Ben­der fam­ily of Mun­ster is plan­ning a Flor­ida va­ca­tion this month, and Jack­son, 5, was hop­ing to make an air­plane or va­ca­tion home with Le­gos.

“I can’t wait to go with my fam­ily, and th­ese things are ex­cit­ing to me,” he said of his choices. “But I will do my best what­ever we build.”

Af­ter pizza time and so­cial­iz­ing, Van Drunen ad­dressed the con­tents of large col­or­ful bags that had been lined up on a long ta­ble in front of the room. Af­ter un­veil­ing what was in­side, the boys and their dads were given in­struc­tions re­gard­ing what was to tran­spire in the next hour.

“There are three small kits in each large box, and your chal­lenge is to put to­gether all three,” she told the au­di­ence. “The first fa­ther and son to fin­ish all three will be our win­ner.”

There was a small catch — only so many Le­gos were in­cluded in the box to de­sign a di­nosaur, dragon and ro­bot. So, as soon as one was cre­ated, Van Drunen took a pic­ture of it, and then it was dis­as­sem­bled and on to the next.

Although no one fin­ished all three of the items in the al­lot­ted time, many com­pleted two.

The first to fin­ish their two cre­ations were Nico Tomp­kins and his dad, Ro­cio Tomp­kins.

Their prize was a box of col­or­ful Le­gos.

All at­ten­dees went home from the event with quite a few re­wards — some tan­gi­ble, some not.

In ad­di­tion to the Lego items they cre­ated for their fam­ily to see, the fa­ther and son duos also met new friends, gained cre­ative skills and made price­less mem­o­ries to trea­sure well into the fu­ture.

Sue Ellen Ross is a free­lance re­porter.

Gregg and Do­minic De­gen of High­land used their cre­ative skills dur­ing the Lego event.

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