Kiwanis sponsors Platte County Lego builders Competition at the Wanderer on Gilchrist

Josephine Young is one of the organizers of this year’s Platte County Lego builders Competition. Kiwanis of Wheatland is sponsoring the event that is being hosted by the Wanderer on Gilchrist.

WHEATLAND – They are painful if you step on them, but can be used to build creative projects for young contractors who have embraced these plastic construction toys.

According to the History of Lego on Wikipedia, “The history of Lego began in 1932, when Ole Kirk Christiansen founded the company in a Danish carpentry workshop, and continues into the 21st century as a popular and very profitable line of construction toys and related products and services.”

Originally made of wood, the toys changed to plastic in the 1960s. The toys have had a rollercoaster ride from their inception and although the popularity declined in the early 2000s, there has been a recovery since 2005 when those advocates and builders began thinking outside the box and have created ingenious builds.

The Kiwanis Club of Wheatland partnered with the Wanderer on Gilchrist to host the Platte County Lego builders Competition. Although the builds could be done off-site, the finish projects had to be into the bookstore by March 31.

“The kids have had all month to build,” Josephine Young, one of the organizers of the event said. “We have 51 total entries including one entry from Casper. This is our Kiwanis fundraiser for scholarships for kids.”

The entry fee was $25 for a single child, multiple children from the same household was $20 per entry. For the entry fee they got a free Lego base which usually costs $15 and is used as the foundation to build their projects.

“We had five scholarships donated to kids who couldn’t afford the entry fee,” Gail Thompson, another organizer said.

The entrants used their own Legos, but according to Young, if they signed up and bought the Legos from the bookstore, it was half off their registration. There was no theme or boundaries as to what the project was supposed to be.

“They could do whatever they wanted,” Young said. “As long as it stayed on the board and there was no kit used. Each project had to be from their own imagination.”

The youngest entrant was three years old and the builds are going to be judged according to their age category.

“The categories are 0-5, 6-8,9-12, 13-16 and 17 and up,” Thompson said. “There is one entry from a girl who is 29 and another one from a 37-year-old.”

There are two different ways that the projects will be voted on. The first is a panel of judges who will vote for a first and second place in each age category. The first place winner gets a gift certificate from the bookstore for $50 and second place is awarded a $30 gift certificate with which they can purchase merchandise from the store.

People who vote on line are part of the “People’s Choice” vote and it costs $1 per vote. This is also one of the ways that the contest is raising money. The final announcement for the winners will be done at the Wanderer on Gilchrist on March 15 and the last day to be able to vote is March 14.

To vote online, you can go directly to

You can also go into the bookstore and vote there.

Proceeds to benefit the Platte County communities via the Kiwanis Club of Wheatland Foundation and things such as scholarships, socks and shoes, DFS bags, read around the world, discovery day, snacks for kids and bus shelters.