Raffle of a mini-masterpiece to help county children's fund


October 14, 2002|By Lisa Breslin | Lisa Breslin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

LAST FALL, Robin Ford Building and Remodeling Inc. created a 3,100- square-foot Georgian-style home for the Southern Living Showcase of Homes. The tour raised more than $15,000 for Carroll County Children's Fund and Carroll Hospice.

This fall, Ford - with the help of his children, Alyssa, 10, and Sean, 5, and master craftsman Chris Harris - has created a second masterpiece. It's a 64-square-foot Victorian-style playhouse that features a mansard roof, a locking door and fully operational, double-hung windows.

Valued at more than $5,500, the playhouse is being raffled to benefit the children's fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing medical care to uninsured or underinsured Carroll County children.

"The playhouse is so spacious and extraordinary, it could also be used as a lovely garden house or potting shed," said Janet Hollinger, executive director of the fund. "This playhouse would be a spectacular focal point to any garden."

Ford estimates that it took his crew 80 hours to complete the project. Sean and Alyssa focused on painting the trim, while Harris and Ford took care of the larger details.

Labor was free, and Ford also coordinated the donation of lumber, paint and materials from co-sponsors, the Lumber Yard in Hampstead and Sherwin Williams Paint Store in Westminster.

Architectural plans for the playhouse were created by Tanglewood Design, a family business based in Salt Lake City, which started offering its products online in June 1998.

"The playhouse was an intricate project that took more time and people than anticipated to complete, but it was fun," Ford said. "We did it within a month's time frame, but I'm not sure that the paint was completely dry when we had it delivered."

The playhouse is on display at Davis Buick-GMC Truck on Route 140 in Westminster.

Raffle tickets, which cost $10, are available at Davis Buick and all Westminster BB&T branches. Other Westminster businesses that have raffle tickets include Pour House Cafe, David's Jewelers, Hickory Stick and Sherwin Williams Paint Store.

Tickets also are available through the children's fund, 410-840-4999, or through Robin Ford Building and Remodeling Inc., 410-239-8850.

Tickets will remain on sale until Dec. 17, when the winner will be selected in a random drawing at the children's fund board of directors' monthly luncheon.

"Robin has always been a generous supporter, but he went above and beyond on this project," said Jill Rosner, president of the children's fund board. "If I weren't the president, I'd love to own this playhouse. It's charming and it has lots of character."

Grolier Online

Students throughout Carroll County have access to homework help, Web sites, links to magazine articles and general encyclopedias because of Library Enhancement Grant money garnered by Irene Hildebrandt, media supervisor for Carroll County public schools.

With the money, Hildebrandt purchased a subscription to Grolier Online that can be accessed at school, at home and local libraries. The address is http://online.k12.carr.org/ grolier. The user name is ccps, and the password is media99.

"The students are loving it, and I love it," said Jenny Simmons, media specialist for William Winchester Elementary. "Grolier Online is user-friendly. In fact, it just got a rave review in either the School Library Journal or Booklist."

Access information also reaches Encyclopedia Americana as well as links to local bibliographic holdings for additional research help. For more information, contact the media specialist at your local school.

Living Treasure

Westminster resident and fifth-grader Kelly Pollhammer honors her new puppy Bernie as her Living Treasure this week. Bernie is a Norwich terrier that arrived at the Pollhammer house at the end of August.

"When everyone else in the house is busy, I have fun playing outside with Bernie," said Kelly. "He is wild, active and he is always ready to play."

Brighten the day of someone - human or otherwise - who has made a positive difference in your life. Submit a name and specific reasons why that person has been your living treasure to: Lisa Breslin, 35 Ridge Road, Westminster 21157, 410-848-4703.

Lisa Breslin's Central Carroll neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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