Living Ind

Building Hope

by Mary Tutwiler

Three custom playhouses and a doghouse go to auction to benefit Healing House.

House for sale: Charming craftsman bungalow, front porch with gable, stained glass, hardwood floors, loft bed. This could be your dream home ' if you're under 5 feet tall. Or perhaps your dog has been yearning for a two-story pad with a downstairs lounge bed and upstairs cabinet to hold his toys, treats and clothes. Both small-scale playhouses are up for grabs this weekend at the Project Playhouse fundraiser to benefit Healing House, the Acadiana non-profit agency dedicated to providing support for children who have experienced the death of a parent or sibling.

A Victorian cottage with gingerbread detail and a minature kitchen was donated by Kid's Nest, a Duson company that designs custom playhouses and outbuildings and will be raffled off during Saturday's event. Leading up to the raffle, there's a silent auction for three other kid-sized dwellings. One is the Craftsman bungalow designed by MBSB architecture group. The second is the Green-House, a contemporary play space built of recycled lumber, giant bamboo benches and a peek-a-boo climbing wall designed and built by the UL Lafayette School of Architecture and Design and the International Design Clinic. And Fido would love the doghouse designed by Firefly Digital.

Bids will be accepted by mail, fax and phone through April 7, and funds go toward the training of volunteers who work with grieving children in the program. Currently 64 children are enrolled with Healing House, and there are 20 kids on a waiting list, says program Director Heather Blanchard.

The Project Playhouse fundraiser is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, April 8, in the parking lot of Lafayette General Surgery Center on Pinhook Road. For more information or to place a bid, contact the Healing House at 234-0443, or view the houses at