Woodcraft Supports Fresh Wood Competition with $4,500 Gift, Thanks to Customers

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Woodcraft and its customers continued to support student woodworkers in 2015 through donations to the Fresh Wood competition that totaled $4,508.

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Zachery Lush was top award winner at the 2015 Fresh Wood student woodworking competition that Woodcraft and its customers support financially. (Photo by Joe Coomber)

In 2015, the Fresh Wood program introduced 40 more high school and post-secondary students to the woodworking industry through their experiences at the AWFS Fair.

Woodcraft has donated $4,508 to Fresh Wood, a student woodworking competition held during the biennial AWFS® Fair. The total represents a Woodcraft match of customer contributions during 2015.

In April 2012 Woodcraft unveiled the Fresh Wood project, inviting customers to support Fresh Wood by making donations that Woodcraft agreed to match up to $10,000 annually. To date this Woodcraft/Customer project has provided a total of $23,074 to help student entrants with expenses related to the competition.

“Woodcraft very much appreciates our customers’ ongoing financial support for Fresh Wood,” Woodcraft president Jody Garrett said. “Woodcraft will continue to match contributions in 2016 as a part of the corporate commitment to promoting woodworking education and related opportunities for woodworkers of all ages and skills, as well as potential woodworkers.”

The Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers (AWFS) sponsors the biennial Fresh Wood woodworking competition for high school and post-secondary students in conjunction with the AWFS Fair for the purpose of showcasing student woodworking talent and introducing students who are interested in woodworking careers to the industry and to a national trade show. In addition, winners take home monetary and tool awards.

“In 2015, the Fresh Wood program introduced 40 more high school and post-secondary students to the woodworking industry through their experiences at the AWFS Fair. The students were able to talk with professionals, receive valuable feedback on their projects, and learn ways to participate in the industry,” said Adria Torrez, AWFS assistant education director. “The Woodcraft donation program allows this interaction to take place, and we are truly grateful to Woodcraft and its customers for their support. We look forward to using the $4,508 collected in 2015 toward a successful 2017 competition!”

Zachery Lush, a student at Fletcher’s Meadow Secondary School, Brampton, Ontario, won the Best of Show Award in the 2015 competition for his wooden shelf named “Gravity.” Judges reviewed the projects of 40 finalists from 21 different high schools and colleges in the U.S. and Canada. Twenty-six students went home with monetary prizes ranging from $250 to $1,000.

According to the competition description, “Gravity” is a gaming console in the form of a three-dimensional wall-mounted shelf inspired by the smooth lines of a UFO floating through the atmosphere defying gravity. Achieving the simple shape required considerable cabinetmaking expertise. The challenge was to build a lightweight frame that could hang on the wall and yet was strong enough to withstand the force of a vacuum press.

Lush was awarded a coveted, custom veneer-marquetry sculpture made by master craftsman Paul Schürch. This was the first year for the new trophy, which will now feature a sculpture made by a different woodworking artist each year. An award cherished by student recipients, the original trophy was created in 2003 by legendary woodworker Sam Maloof, featuring a sculpture of his iconic rocking chair arm. Lush also received $1,000 and a Rikon 14" Bandsaw, plus another $1,000 and a Certificate of Merit as First Place winner in the High School Open category.

Fair attendees awarded the People’s Choice Award and a $500 prize to Werner Pyka from Palomar College, San Marcos, California, for his Quint-Essential federal-style gaming table, which also won First Place in the Post-Secondary Tables category.

To contribute to the Woodcraft Fresh Wood project, visit woodcraft.com and click on Fresh Wood in the Partner Sites list on the home page, or if you place an order, you will be given an opportunity to donate as the order is processed. There is also a link to the donation page on the Fresh Wood section of the AWFS website.

For more information about all the winners and their projects and the July 19-22, 2017, AWFS Fair and Fresh Wood competition, visit http://awfsfair.org/attendee-information/student-contests.

To learn more about Woodcraft, please contact the store nearest you, visit http://www.woodcraft.com or call (800) 535-4482. To learn about Woodcraft franchise opportunities, visit http://www.woodcraftfranchise.com or email woodcraftfranchise(at)woodcraft(dot)com.

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Lori Haught
Woodcraft Supply LLC
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