After attending Lego KidsFest in Portland, Ore. with her two children, event organizer Bekki Jo Kahler thought she could bring the popular Lego trend to Kirkland.
With the intent of raising money for the Kirkland Boys & Girls Keystone Club and Team ASPCA, Kahler contacted local companies who would later become sponsors of the first Kirkland Brick Fest.
Their Keystone Club is comprised of teenagers 14 to 18 years old and Team ASPCA advocates for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Children may have fun with Legos while cultivating skills in building, engineering and creativity at the Kirkland Boys & Girls Club gym from noon to 4 p.m. on Jan. 4. The club is located at 10805 124th Ave. NE in Kirkland.
“I think it’s a great idea because it challenges the creativity of kids and adults,” said Kirkland Boys & Girls Club Teen Coordinator Erik Touhey. “Adults and kids who like to build, the engineering type, they get to show their creativity through building whatever they can think of. I think everyone will benefit.”
Different building areas will be set up for people to keep with a theme. There will be a “Lego Friends” area sponsored by PCL Construction and PCL Civil Contractors of Bellevue, a vehicle building area and a spaceship building area sponsored by Greenpoint Technologies of Kirkland, a Lego City area and a Duplo area for younger children.
“I’m hoping to have some display spaces set up so that kids can leave them up until the next kids come along,” Kahler said, noting it might be a good idea to bring a camera. “Children and adults are both really excited.”
Terra Associates, Play-Well Teknologies and Demetriou Archetects PLCC of Kirkland and Tenhulzen Residential and Cadmin Inc. of Redmond are also sponsoring the event. Sponsors will donate physical Legos, while others may donate gift cards to purchase the Legos.
Ultimately, Kahler said the fundraising goal is between $2,000 to $3,000 and she is hoping 200 people will attend.
Keystone Club will also sell food, snacks and lunch during the event.
Touhey said about $1,000 is needed for 10 Keystone Club members to make it to a national Keystone conference in Anaheim, Calif. this April. It would be their first time attending a national conference.
“They’ll use [the conference] as a networking opportunity,” Touhey said, adding that they’ll be discussing different problems in the community.
This year, one community issue will be teen suicide prevention, he said.
Team ASPCA will also get a portion of the proceeds to be used toward animal shelter grants.
“My son loves animals but we can’t have one where we live in a condo,” Kahler said. “My sister adopted a couple of animals and we wanted to help out in a way that we can.”
Kahler’s oldest son, 12, will be running the vehicle-building area and his skills can be seen on the Brick Fest flyer.
“It’s an important skill to learn,” Kahler said, adding that the Lego trend is synonymous with the push toward STEM education. “For young people, getting them interested in building is how the future of construction is going to carry on. Learning by play is a good way to foster it.”
To purchase pre-sale tickets, $10 for kids and $13 for adults, to Kirkland Brick Fest contact Kahler at (425) 233-5289. Otherwise, tickets may be purchased at the door, $12 for kids and $15 for adults.
Visit kirkland.positiveplace.org for more information.