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On the Frontier:
Once Upon a Playhouse

On the Frontier: Once Upon a Playhouse

by Chelsea Cliff

March 3, 2016

Envision an old Western movie set, with an iconic main street that includes an early community bank. Now picture a place where children can use their imagination and run wild -- around the backyard of course! These two seemingly disparate concepts were recently united and brought to life in vivid detail through a remarkable playhouse creation titled: The Sterling State Frontier Bank. Sponsored by Sterling State Bank as part of the 8th Annual Once Upon a Playhouse fundraiser for Family Service Rochester (FSR), this amazing children's playhouse was hand built by Sterling State Bank's Apple Valley Branch Manager Tyler Coleman!

The 8th annual Once Upon a Playhouse event is a fundraiser held by FSR. This year's fundraiser featured three playhouses displayed to the public at the Rochester Area Builders Home Show held on February 5-7, 2016 at the Mayo Civic Center. During this annual show, attendees had the opportunity to buy raffle tickets for a chance to win one of the three custom designed playhouses. Raffle tickets sold for $10 per ticket (or 3 for $25) with the winners drawn on Sunday, February 7, 2016. Proceeds from the raffle help support Family Services Rochester and its mission to help prevent family violence while supporting victims of family violence seeking to make a positive change.

"The reason we originally chose to do this type of fundraiser is because we feel playhouses bring back memories of a happy, carefree childhood. The kind of childhood we envision for all kids." Brenda Walker, Family Service Rochester Director of Engagement explained in a recent Post-Bulletin article.

"They offer great services and support for families that are facing difficult situations," says Tyler, describing the community support FSR helps provide. "Children that aren't in the best environment are given counseling and a safe place to play while adults work through issues such as divorce or other sources of family tension." These playhouses are symbolic of the organization's mission, which is to 'enhance the quality of life for individuals and families in our community.'

Sterling State Bank has been a sponsor of the Once Upon a Playhouse since its inception, but this year marks the first time the Bank has actually built a Playhouse for the contest. Tyler credits his wife Christina with originating the concept of a Western style, olde-time bank. It was also important to Tyler to source the materials for the playhouse locally. Almost all of the materials used in the project were secured with the help of KBS [Kreofsky Building Supplies]. Local materials, volunteer help, and previous construction jobs that helped pay for college, assisted Tyler in constructing a beautiful, hand-crafted playhouse.

"It was nice to get out of the everyday routine, I like to build things when I get the chance," said Tyler. The Sterling State Bank playhouse included a number of details meant to capture the authentic spirit of the old west. Some of these details included "Wanted" posters featuring bank employees: Lynn Clarey, Tyler Coleman, and Justin McNeilus, a small child-sized desk, a 'bank safe' and western décor. Other design features included a front porch and many windows allowing for natural light to flood the inside play space.

After all the work that went into its construction, Tyler couldn't help but feel a slight twinge of nostalgia as he helped draw the winning raffle ticket for the playhouse on Sunday, February 7, 2016.

According to Family Service Rochester, the winning raffle ticket was purchased by Mr. Tom Wente. Tom in turn held a drawing for the playhouse among his employees and customers at Smith, Shafer & Associates. Andrew Forliti ultimately won the drawing and is the lucky recipient of the Sterling State Frontier Bank playhouse!

Sterling State Bank is grateful for the opportunity to help provide a great place for children to play and to help support Family Service Rochester in fulfilling such an important mission.

Wanted Posters