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Annual sand sculpture contest is Saturday

BY Samantha Oyler - soyler@chronicle-tribune.com

Most Hoosiers don’t get to play in the sand very often.

But Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Grant County gives community members that chance with its annual sand sculpture contest at the Splash House.

As many as 27 teams will grab pails, shovels and spray paint to construct huge sandy works of art this Saturday.

Because CASA is an advocacy group for abused and neglected children involved in judicial proceedings, most of its operations are confidential.

Executive Director Leslie Hendricks said this event is one of the few that allows the organization to really interact with the community in an “open forum.”

Teams will start creating their sculptures at 10 a.m.

Construction will conclude at 3 p.m., and then there will be public voting until 4 p.m.

Winners for the four categories will be announced at 4:30 p.m.

There is a people’s choice category which allows participants, viewers and Splash House attendees to vote on their favorite sculptures.

In memory of Pastor Andy Schramm, the Schramm Family will choose one winner based on their personal favorite.

The Golden Pail award will be chosen by the CASA board based on a team’s overall effort and fun during the building process.

The Raisin’ Awareness Award will be given to the team whose sculpture best represents CASA’s mission.

Hendricks said that she’s seen countless designs over the years.

"You’ve got designs that are so out of the box and intricate, but there are also those ones that are quick and simple and just as great,” she said.

While the event serves as a source of free entertainment for the community, it also acts as a fundraiser and way to recruit potential volunteers.

Hendricks said that the event usually brings in an average of $20,000 through sponsorships.