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Tent company makes wishes come true

News | April 1, 2011 | By:

One tent rental company lays the foundation for making children’s wishes come true.

When O’Neil Tents and Party Supplies of Canal Winchester, Ohio, began planning the installation for the 2010 Big Wish Gala on the field of Ohio Stadium, the biggest challenge was the surface on which the tents would rest: multi-million-dollar synthetic turf. Not surprisingly, the company was not allowed to stake the tents or allow the tents to come in contact with the turf in any way that would damage it.

O’Neil’s design and installation team solved the dilemma by first laying down three layers of plywood sheeting and covering the plywood with terraplast. Next, to achieve a safe alternative to staking, the team consulted an engineering firm and custom manufactured extended base plates. The plates were designed to hold double stacked concrete blocks weighing a total of 16,000 pounds for each upright.

O’Neil installed one 98-by-180-foot HTS Höcker Structures clearspan for the main event; two 40-by-80-foot Anchor frame tents used by catering; and a 20-by-20-foot frame tent used to check in the guests. Clear panels and gable triangles, as well as clear walls for the gable ends so guests could have a full view of the setting, were custom manufactured by O’Neil.

Once installation began, it rained for four days. However, due to the meticulous ballasting efforts, the tents held firm and the purpose of the evening was realized—to bring together children whose lives have been brightened by the Make-A-Wish Foundation® and donors who could help make wishes come true for future children in the program.

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