Saturday: Playhouses auctioned in annual fundraiser June 6


Twelve one-of-a-kind, life-size children's playhouses will be featured at the "Dreams Happen" fundraising auction on Saturday, June 6, at the Stanford Shopping Center.

Each year, the fantasy playhouses go on the auction block, with proceeds benefiting Rebuilding Together Peninsula, a nonprofit dedicated to rehabilitating homes and community buildings.

Renowned architect Frank Gehry's firm, Design by Gehry Partners, with building by Level 10 Construction, is presenting a "Tours en l'Air," a playhouse with open views to the sky and a variety of spaces to explore. The structure is sponsored by Facebook.

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with registration and cocktails in the courtyard between Nordstrom and Crate & Barrel at the Stanford center. Dining is at 7:30, and the auction and drawing is set to begin at 8:30.

A DJ will provide music for dancing under the stars while a sampling of the center's restaurants and cafes provide the dinner fare.

Each of the playhouses is outfitted by theme by its architect, designer and building team. Gary Ahern of Focal Point Design is presenting "Once Upon a Time," with building by Joel Butler of Butler Construction. Mr. Ahern has been building "dream houses" since 1999. His mini-rendition of the Ahwahnee Hotel at Yosemite, which sold for $70,000 in 2005, stands out as the auction's top moneymaker.

Other playhouses on display this year include a fort, a diner, and a kids' barn. "Fire Lookout," designed by John Onken, will be raffled off.

Since 1993, Dreams Happen has raised about $4 million for Rebuilding Together Peninsula, according to a Stanford Shopping Center spokeswoman.

Visit rebuildingtogetherpeninsula.org or call (650) 366-6597 to purchase tickets for the gala at $115 each.

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