Dillon’s playhouse auction to benefit essential housing programs
The Dillon Playhouse Project to raise important funds during a critical time in the community
What: The Town of Dillon’s Playhouse Project, presented by the Summit Association of Realtors, is a public art display featuring five locally-built tiny playhouses.
When: On display through Sept. 7 (Labor Day).
Where: Two locations: Marina Park, 306 W. Lodgepole St.; and the corner of Lake Dillon Drive and West LaBonte. Make a day of it and check out the exhibits on a Friday in conjunction with a visit to the Dillon Farmers Market.
For more information or to place an auction bid, visit playhouseprojects.org.
From ropes and ladders to rocketships and space capsules, the Playhouse Project in Dillon is a public art showcase of whimsical creativity and thoughtful design details.
It’s also a way to create awareness in the community about a lack of affordable housing.
The Town of Dillon’s Playhouse Project, presented by the Summit Association of Realtors, is on display through Sept. 7 (Labor Day) in two locations: Marina Park and the corner of Lake Dillon Drive and West LaBonte. The playhouses will be auctioned off at the end of the public exhibit, with proceeds benefiting the Family and Intercultural Resource Center’s (FIRC) affordable housing programs. Proceeds from the Habitat House will go toward Habitat for Humanity projects.
“I think it’s such a creative way to involve the entire community and also be able to recognize there are people in this community that don’t have access to stable housing,” said Brianne Snow, executive director at FIRC. “It’s a great way to bring community into the conversation and do something creative and artistic that we get to enjoy for a long time to come.”
Building more sustainable mountain communities
FIRC’s supportive services programs aim to help families stay housed in Summit County through rental or budgeting assistance and other services.
“Today, more than ever, that program is really important because of COVID-19 and so many job losses or changes in wages,” Snow said. “Events like Dillon’s Playhouse Project not only bring financial support to our agency, but also serve as a reminder of how much the community is invested in our families’ success.”
The caseload at FIRC has increased dramatically during the pandemic — so much so that FIRC is struggling to keep up with the demand. Danielle McQueen, data and grants manager at FIRC, said about 120 households typically utilize FIRC’s rental assistance program in a year. Since March 15 of this year, more than 1,000 households have sought assistance.
“As FIRC faces funding cuts within our Family Support program as a result of this pandemic, the proceeds from the Playhouse Project will help us to continue offering this critical community support program that promotes stable families and a strong community,” she said. “With the generous support of foundations, donors, businesses, and local town, county, and state government, FIRC can help locals remain living and working in Summit County.”
The average family seeking assistance at FIRC is making less than $25,000 a year, yet the Colorado self-sufficiency wage for a family of four in Summit County is $90,000.
Creativity for a cause
The builders behind each of the five playhouses represent the passionate community partnerships that raise money for such important causes. Kerstin Anderson, Town of Dillon marketing and communications director, said the playhouses “spark the imagination and bring palatable joy as residents engage with the exhibits and imagine owning them.”
The inspiration behind the designs allowed the building teams to create truly unique playhouses. Summit Habitat for Humanity’s inspiration came from its own work building homes, while Travis Construction, based in Silverthorne, incorporated the collaboration of Space X and NASA into its playhouse design.
“This new race for achievements in space exploration will drive the next generation to look up and pursue their dreams,” said Luke Dokken, contractor at Travis Construction. “The playhouse has two unique features: the three pentagonal windows to allow kids to search the skies, and the front door, built like a hatchback on a car, this offers an exciting and different way to enter the playhouse.”
Functional elements allowing for efficient and safe play were also a part of the designs. MW Golden Constructors added a swing and slide to its house for more play options, and to allow for multiple kids to play in the house at the same time without getting in each other’s way.
Children will not be allowed in the playhouses during the exhibit due to COVID-19.
“The lucky bidders will have to wait until they are at home to play in them,” Anderson said. “Consider bidding for yourself, family or donating to one of your favorite organizations. Proceeds from the Playhouse directly benefit residents in need.”
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