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Now in its 23rd year, the popular Parade of Playhouses at NorthPark Center began this week showcasing a variety of creative children's playhouses that fit nicely with the center’s permanent art collection.

In all, there are 14 playhouses dotting the landscape there this summer.

Rosanne Lewis who handles Public Relations for Dallas CASA said, “The annual event raises awareness and funds for abused and neglected children and gives children a time to see custom built playhouses.”

This year’s selection of child-like houses features some amazingly creative and fun houses. A few featured houses are:

  • Presenting sponsor Crest Cadillac / Crest Infiniti’s “BRO’S DINER,” a fun take-off of traditional 1950s diners.
  • Whataburger built a house in the style of the vintage A-frame, orange and white-striped drive-through Whataburger buildings. The A-frame roof will be a rock wall on one side and a slide on the other. Inside, a mini-kitchen will inspire future chefs.
  • OMNIPLAN Architects designed a playhouse using an in-house design competition amongst the company’s architects. The selected house features a flexible design on a fixed base that allows children’s imaginations to guide the space and its use.
  • Patrick Jackson with You Dream It We Build It is a professional playhouse builder by trade. His design “Warped” is a collaborative effort with friends and colleagues in the building community, many of whom donated materials and even building space for Jackson to make children’s dreams come true.

“They have building adorable playhouses down-pat,” said Lewis.

The playhouses are all custom built and are donated by the local architects, builders and corporations involved.  The returning builders and architects include Beck Architecture, LLC, Bob Borson, Buford Hawthorne Homebuilders, Butscher Construction, Crest Cadillac/Crest Infiniti, Harman, Christiaan Lujik and Redlee/SCS.

The tiny houses are precious, but more importantly they represent hope for children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. Dallas CASA’s trained community volunteers serve as voices in court for these children who are navigating a frightening and confusing child welfare system. While all kids love exploring these fun houses, the children Dallas CASA volunteers serve dream of homes free from abuse and neglect.

“Dallas CASA believes all children have the right to be safe and loved and allowed to reach their full potential,” said Kathleen LaValle, Dallas CASA’s executive director. “For the children we serve, these houses represent our dreams for them – safety, permanency and a place to call their own forever. Every day in Dallas, CASA volunteers are walking hand in hand with children on their journeys to permanent, loving homes. We all dream of a day when no child in need has to wish for a permanent place to grow up, safe and loved.”

Parade of Playhouses has been a signature community and fundraising event for Dallas CASA since 1996. Each house is unique and represents months of work designing, planning, building, finishing and transporting to NorthPark Center.

In 2017, Dallas CASA’s 1,314 volunteers advocated for 3,118 Dallas children. But one out of four Dallas children in protective care does not have a volunteer to advocate for them. Dallas CASA hopes to become the largest nonprofit CASA program in the country to serve all abused children in protective care.

All proceeds from raffle ticket sales benefit the children served by Dallas CASA. Viewing the playhouses is free and open any time during NorthPark hours. Raffle tickets to win a playhouse are $5 each or five for $20 and will be available to purchase during the event

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