Saturday, December 1, 2012


Members of the Rapid City Woodworkers Association completed the packaging of over 1650 handmade wooden toys for kids in the Black Hills and Sioux Falls area on Saturday Dec 1st, 2012.  The toys were made by members of the TOY PROGRAM who worked year-round in their own shops as well as the RCWA Shop in the basemetn of the Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Rapid City.

Those arriving at 9 am to start the distribution process included Gary and Denise Kohama, Lon Gose, Bel Felix, Larry Deibert, Harley Schmadeke, Julian Wigen, Grant Coffin, Gary Graves, Larry Borg, Rick Weisbeck, and Bob and Kathie Buchanan.

The first team of pickers (Gary Kohama and Julian Wigen) started down the long row of twenty types of toys.  They filled boxes following a pre-selected list for each organization based on age appropriate toys.

The list of 20 handmade wooden toys included several wheeled vehicles (cars, buses, vans, racers, oldies, worms, cruisers), tugboats, airplanes, helicopters, locomotives, jewelry boxes, turtle banks, tractors, as well as games (basketball game, paddle game, ring toss game, cup and ball game), rocking chairs and handmade lined cotton bags filled with wooden critters.

The second team (Larry Deibert and Densie Kohama) and third team (Lon Gose and Bel Felix) are right behind, filling boxes and checking off toys.

Harley Schmadeke and Kathie Buchanan expedited the picking process by makiing sure that an ample supply of toys was always ready for the pickers.

The shipping department fine-tuned their processes of packing, labeling and sealing the boxes to be handcarried to local organizations over the next ten days.  The whole process was completed in one and half hours.
Organizations receiving toys over the next ten days in the Black Hills area include Youth and Family Services, The Club for Boys, CASA, WAVI, Benji's House, Airmen Readiness Center at Ellsworth AFB, Black Hills Habitat for Humanity, Passages; and Needs Free of Sioux Falls, SD.

Denise Kohama looks over the load of toys boxed up and loaded in Gary Grave's truck for the trip to Needs Free in Sioux Falls, SD.

Toymaking and story telling go together, as Grant Coffins rests in front of about half of the toys going to Youth and Family Services in the Black Hills.  Listening to the story are Rick Weisbeck and Kathie Buchanan.

The first scheduled delivery to the Youth and Family Services facility is planned for Dec 11, 2012.
Many thanks to all the participating toymakers, including Roger Bares, for their fantastic support over the last twelve months.  Also many thanks to local business who have supported us throughout the year with resources including Dakota Kraft, Office Max, Basler Printing, Wilkinson Custom Cabinets, Wendy's, Magnum Enterprises, LLC, J&D Woodworking, and numerous local residents.

To get to the HOME PAGE of the Rapid City Woodworking Association website, click on the link below:

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