Ascend To The Throne

Willard’s SponCon Team

Grace Carman, Broadcast, Photojournalist, Writer

Spontaneous Construction (SponCon) is a fundraiser by Home ReSource and an annual Missoula tradition. Participants are given seven hours and their choice of materials provided by Home ReSource to create any functional and creative piece they can think of. Contestants and spectators also have access to kids activities, local food vendors, music, a closing party and much more. According to the Home ReSource website, “SponCon is the nittiest, grittiest, smashin-est, bashin-est, clangin-est, bangin-est creativist, barbaloot savin-est party in town!”

Home ReSource itself is a nonprofit sustainability center that sells used building materials as well as offering a job training program, education programs, and waste reduction initiatives. They give used materials a second chance to circulate the community. Home ReSource was founded by two University of Montana graduates.In 2003 Lauren Varney & Matt Hisel started Home ReSource as a volunteer-run reuse center. Over the years, it has become a community sustainability center.

This year marked the 15th year of the Spontaneous Construction fundraiser. Willard has been participating for several years. Stephanie Wing first got involved with SponCon about eight years ago when she participated with a friend from art school. After her experience, Stephanie thought this would be a perfect community event for Willard students who are in the afternoon community class she and Steve Mutchler facilitate together.

When asked her inspiration for involvement with the SponCon fundraiser, Stephanie stated, “When I started working at Willard, we had a partnership with Home ReSource to do a high school internship program. We’ve had students get jobs at Home ReSource and stay working with their organization. Participating in SponCon is one way Willard can give back to Home ReSource for all they have done for Willard. The last few years, we have made it to the silent auction.” Stephanie continued, “…creating objects out of materials considered trash makes me excited and happy, because you give something a new life and I like that idea instead of throwing it into the waste pit – the pit of despair.”

With a bit of cash, two spaces (one general and one commercial) were purchased for the Willard teams.  In the seven-hour flurry of creation and mayhem, the Willard team got on their way. The team consisted of  Chayla Zinn, Janvier Munyazikwiye, Melissa Madsen, Steve Mutchler, Sam from GRIT who was unfortunately injured, and Stephanie Wing. Leabeth’s husband Louis Daviau, who is a great carpenter, filled in for Sam.

In past years, Willard has earned one gold award and those pieces go to the live auction at the Wilma. Silver award winners’ pieces go to silent auction also at the Wilma. This year, Willard did awesome! We had two teams a general and a commercial space for the electricity. Willard will be in the silent auction, because we earned a silver award. The silent auction will be November 8th at the Wilma. For First Friday, October 4th, there was a preview of the projects in the Mercantile lobby. People can buy tickets through the Home ReSource website $50 for individual and $400 for a table of eight.

According to the Home ReSource website, “These events raise essential funds and awareness for our Community Sustainability Programs, which are teaching job skills to Missoulians in need, promoting environmental stewardship for our youngest Zero Waste Ambassadors, and educating community members at all levels about how to reduce waste & build a vibrant and sustainable local economy.” I encourage anyone who is able, to attend and support this event.