There are many charitable activities that take place this time of year. Not many in Putnam County involve designer doghouse competitions.
That's the idea behind the 2011 Barkitechture and Catstruction event being put on by York Chevrolet-Buick-GMC. For the competition, people may design and build a doghouse or cat condo to be entered into the competition. The event will help the Humane Society of Putnam County (HSPC).
Steve Michael with York said that he got the idea while surfing the Internet.
"I ended up looking up some stuff on Austin, Tex. I saw they had an event called Barkitecture and it was a fundraiser for their local humane society. It just looked like an interesting, neat way to raise money.
"There were all kinds of designs; some were simple, some were fairly elaborate," Michael said. "Some were designed around a green theme. The interesting thing is that a lot of them were built by design firms and architecture firms."
Michael said that he didn't think an event like this had ever taken place in Greencastle.
Trophies will be presented in a corporate division for any organized group and an open division for individuals and families. Michael said that he hoped families became involved in the event.
"This seemed to be a real family friendly kind of event," Michael said. "A family could get together and build a doghouse or if Little Johnny or little Betty decided they wanted to build it, we don't care what it looks like."
After the doghouses and cat structures are turned in, they'll be put on display for a week at the Inn at DePauw and around town. After the judging is completed, the houses will be auctioned, with all of the funds from that going to the HSPC.
"If someone is really proud of the great job they did on their doghouse they can buy it back and all of the money goes to the Humane Society," Michael said. "We're funding all of the overhead and the expense of the event. Everything that's taken in during the event will go to the Humane Society."
Michael said that the event was planned for a period of the year where there isn't a lot going on.
"The thing is that it's that dead time of winter. People are kind of stir crazy," Michael said. "A lot of times in winter I'll build a guitar or something like that to keep myself occupied on those dark nights."
"You've got a three week period between football and NASCAR where there's nothing going on, and that's the time table we thought of," he said.
Michael said that he hopes the event appeals to a large base of people.
"We're hoping to get some fraternities and sororities from DePauw along with some church groups," he said. "Maybe some of the fraternal organizations. There are a lot of creative people and there's a lot of background in general craftsmanship that exists in Putnam County, and we want to tap into that."
Michael said that he hopes to see some very creative entries.
All structures for the event should be no more than 48" by 48", with a maximum height of 72". The maximum weight is 200 lbs. Doghouses can be indoor or outdoor, and cat structures can be either a condo or a play structure.
The registration deadline is Jan. 31. The submission deadline is Feb. 7 at the Inn at DePauw, with a planned Feb. 6 mass drop-off day.
"The only reason we're asking for entry forms is so we don't show up the day of the show and find out we don't have room for all of the entries," Michael said.
Entry forms and rules are available at all of the event's sponsors.
The event is sponsored by First National Bank, the Inn at DePauw, Headley Hardware and Furniture Awarehouse and the Banner Graphic. Headley Hardware will also have some basic doghouse plans available, Michael said.