Minnesota businesses work to help homeowners in need

Construction companies will build luxury fish houses for auction at Oct. 18 event

By Erica Rivera
Monday, October 13, 2014

“Luxury fish houses” might sound like an oxymoron, but Rebuilding Together Twin Cities is counting on them to provide funding for future repair projects for homeowners in need as part of the first-ever Fish House Frenzy.

At 7 a.m. on Oct. 17, teams from Adolfson & Peterson Construction, Kraus-Anderson Construction, and Dunwoody College of Technology will begin constructing custom fish houses in the parking lot of Joe’s Sporting Goods in St. Paul. Working in groups of four over a 24-hour period, each team will transform a trailer frame and running lights from Ice Castle Fish Houses into a unique creation. Teams can use donated materials or purchase their own, adding bells and whistles as desired.

The three designs have already been submitted and approved but are kept under wraps to ensure a lively build day. Spectators are welcome to stop by to see the works in progress and enjoy food, beverages, and live entertainment. On Oct. 18 at 10 a.m., two of the fish houses will be put up for auction; the third will be raffled off. Proceeds will benefit Rebuilding Together Twin Cities, an organization that helps homeowners with small children, those living with disabilities, and the elderly make necessary repairs on their homes.

 “As a private, nonprofit technical college, we really support community service and service learning,” says Heather Gay, program manager for construction project management at Dunwoody. “To give students the opportunity to design and build something that could be utilized by the general public that benefits another non-profit was really attractive to us.”

John Campobasso, the vice president and director of marketing at Kraus-Anderson, is equally enthusiastic about the event. “We thought it was a worthy cause, so we took the leap and got involved.” The Kraus-Anderson team has been planning for months and sought inspiration from fish houses on display at the Minnesota State Fair this summer. “It seems like it’s going to be a fun event,” Campobasso says. “Hopefully it will have some good results and support the cause.”