Each playhouse is donated by individuals or businesses, with proceeds going to abused children.
DALLAS â" The annual Parade of Playhouses returns to NorthPark Center August 3, when 16 oversized, undeniably neat playhouses will be on display through August 19. Each house is up for grabs in a raffle, which benefits Dallas CASA.
Itâs the 16th year that CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) has hosted Parade of Playhouses, which brings awareness to and raises money for abused children who need safe homes.
âMost people recognize CASA because of the adorable playhouses we display each year at NorthPark Center,â said CASA representative Katy Seitzler. ââ¦ Everyone can do something to help abused children find safe, permanent homes.â
Amy Butscher has actually won a playhouse twice, in 2003 and 2005. It wasnât until 2009 that she got the idea to participate in creating a playhouse. âI thought it was kind of a fun thing for my family to get involved in,â she said. She presented the idea to her brother, a framing contractor and the familyâs building expert who owns Butscher Construction. Amy Butscher admits that they were all a little overwhelmed by the plans at first, but each year they challenge themselves to make a more complex playhouse. This year, the family built a cozy campout cabin with cedar siding and a screen roof and front. Step inside and it has bunks â" perhaps place for kiddos to snooze after an afternoon of playtime.
Even more interesting, the idea to craft the playhouse into a cabin came from Butscherâs sonâs fifth grade class at McCall Elementary in Plano.
Butcherâs playhouses have cost between $1,000 and $1,700 to build â" all donated. She guesses that others in previous years have surely cost more.
In addition to the Butscher playhouse, Parade of Playhouses will feature more than a dozen backyard creations, including a firehouse, a baseball-themed dugout, a âkidâs kastle,â and an urban chicken coop. Additionally, a maritime lighthouse will be auctioned off online to raise additional funds for CASA. Visitors will be amazed at the two-story construct, which was designed by Peter Christensen, from Miami.
The money earned from the raffle helps support CASA and its 550 advocate volunteers. Even still, it is only able to serve two out of every five children abused in the Dallas area.
The raffle and online bidding run through August 19. Raffle tickets are $5 each or five for $20. Winners will be announced at the close of the event and do not have to be present to win.
â[Itâs] such a happy event to help kids that are in such rough situations,â Butscher said.
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