knoxville news
knoxville news knoxville daily sun lifestyle business knoxville sports travel knoxville classifieds knoxville jobs knoxville legal notices knoxville yellow pages smoky mountains contact facebook twitter linkedin rss entertainment knoxville advertising

Holiday Canstruction gleans 40,000+ food items for Second Harvest Food Bank

KNOXVILLE – Eleven teams of architects, engineers, construction companies and other local organizations gathered at the Knoxville Convention Center on Thursday, Dec. 7 to learn the results of Knoxville’s fifth annual Holiday Canstruction exhibit. Many teams were awarded for their design and engineering skills, but the ultimate winner was the beneficiary, Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee.

holiday canstruction
“Silent Night, Jedi Night”, presented by East Tennessee Children's Hospital, was the Kids' Choice winner of Holiday Canstruction. Image by Thelen Wright Photography

Presented by Messer Construction Co., the holiday-themed art exhibition featured eleven innovative structures that used 44,389 food items. This will allow Second Harvest to create and serve 38,670 meals to East Tennesseans in need this holiday season.

“I am overwhelmed by the generosity, spirit, creativity and all around good hearted nature of our community,” said Randy Fields, business development executive for Messer Construction Co. “With the 46,404 pounds of food donated to Second Harvest Food Bank, we are one step closer to ensuring children, adults and families don’t go hungry in our community this holiday season.”

This year, eighteen judges, who represented the media, government, local food production companies, arts and tourism organizations, convened to select the Holiday Canstruction award winners. They scored each structure in six categories. The People’s Choice Award was decided through a public vote on the Knoxville Canstruction Facebook page, which had more than 2,500 votes cast. The Kids’ Choice Award, presented by East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, was selected through paper ballots by voters 17 years old and younger.

dance the horah
Rookie of the Year: Knoxville Jewish Day School and Thomas Caldwell: “Dance the Horah for our CANorah”. Image by Thelen Wright Photography

“This year, we added a new element to the partnership with East Tennessee Children’s Hospital by bringing Canstruction to their patients,” said Fields. “We created a poster of the various structures and the incredible children’s hospital volunteers took this around to their patients who could not attend Canstruction so they too could enjoy the structures and place their votes for the Kid’s Choice Award.”

  twas the night before canstruction
The award for Structural Ingenuity went to Studio Four Design, CBI Knoxville and Merit Construction, Inc.: “Twas the Night Before Canstruction”. Image by Thelen Wright Photography

At the Thursday reception, Fields announced the top awards. The winners and structures are as follows:

• Rookie of the Year: Knoxville Jewish Day School and Thomas Caldwell: “Dance the Horah for our CANorah”
• Largest Food Donation: Bush Brothers, BarberMcMurry Architects and Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc.: “Duke’s UnCANny Christmas”
• Best Use of Labels: Studio Four Design, CBI Knoxville and Merit Construction, Inc.: “Twas the Night Before Canstruction”
• Holiday Hilarity: Messer Construction Co.: “A Very Merry Griswold Christmas!”
• Best Meal: Scripps Networks Interactive and MHM Architects & Interior Designers: “Warm Wishes”
• Best Execution of Concept: Partners, Johnson Architecture and Moxley Carmichael: “Classic Can Toys for Good Girls and Boys”
• Structural Ingenuity: Studio Four Design, CBI Knoxville and Merit Construction, Inc.: “Twas the Night Before Canstruction”
• Juror’s Favorite: Studio Four Design, CBI Knoxville and Merit Construction, Inc.: “Twas the Night Before Canstruction”
• Kid’s Choice: Michael Brady Inc. and Hickory Construction, Inc.: “Silent Night, Jedi Night”
• People’s Choice: Studio Four Design, CBI Knoxville and Merit Construction, Inc.: “Twas the Night Before Canstruction'

Photos of all sculptures are available at Those interested in forming teams for the 2018 event may contact Randy Fields at to be notified when planning begins.

Canstruction is an international event that has helped raise more than 50 million pounds of food to local foodbanks since 1992.

“One in seven people in East Tennessee has trouble meeting basic needs, so we are extremely grateful to Messer Construction Co., Food City and the local teams that dedicated countless hours of service to feeding the hungry,” said Elaine Streno, executive director of Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee. “With more than 200,000 children and adults going hungry in East Tennessee, this annual event allows us to serve 18 counties of families in need this holiday season.”

Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee helps the working poor – those who are employed but might not receive benefits or earn self-sufficient wages. Second Harvest secures and distributes more than 18 million pounds of food and grocery products annually through a network of more than 500 partnering nonprofit organizations such as food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters and schools.

Messer would again like to thank the supporting sponsors: Bush Brothers, Dunkin’ Donuts, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Food City, Shoffner Kalthoff, Sugarland’s Distilling Co. and Tennessee Valley Authority. They would also like to thank their media partners: Knoxville News Sentinel, WBIR and WIVK.

Participating companies to thank include: Architects Wright, BarberMcMurry Architects, Bush Brothers & Company, CBI Knoxville, Chad Stewart & Associates, Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc., Design Innovation Architects, Harrison Construction, Hedstrom Design, Hickory Construction, H-S Whitson Construction Co., Johnson Architecture, Knoxville Jewish Day School, Mast General Store, McCarty Holsaple McCarty, McGill Associates, Merit Construction, Messer Construction Co., Michael Brady Inc., Moxley Carmichael, Partners Development, Realty Trust Group, Scripps Networks Interactive, Studio Four Design, Thomas Caldwell, Tennessee Road Builders Association - YLC, UT Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and UT Construction Science.

Messer Construction Co. is a construction manager and general contractor, providing leadership for complex, commercial construction projects in the health care, higher education, life sciences and industrial market segments. An employee-owned company, Messer’s transformational investment in its people, communities and innovative building solutions has enhanced the landscape of the nine regions throughout the Midwest and Southeast in which its employees live and work. A local builder with national resources and expertise, the company has delivered value for more than 80 years through quality construction and client experiences, taking care to both exceed customer expectations and build long-term relationships.

Published December 12, 2017

knoxville daily sun Knoxville Daily Sun
2017 Image Builders
User Agreement | Privacy Policy