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Woodcraft Marks 10th Anniversary of the Turn for Troops National Turn-a-Thon November 9-10, 2013


PARKERSBURG, W. VA. – (October 2013) Woodcraft will mark a decade of sponsoring its annual Turn for Troops National Turn-a-thon when volunteer woodturners gather at Woodcraft stores nationwide on the weekend of Nov. 9-10 to craft pens for men and women in the armed forces.

What began as a program to provide one-of-a-kind wooden pens to American troops for Christmas has grown each year, with many stores now holding turn-a-thons throughout the year so that pens are shipped to service personnel contacts as often as supplies allow. Pens are distributed to American service personnel on active duty or in rehabilitation facilities in the US. The 10,678 pens turned in 2012 brought the grand total for nine years to 97,717!!

To participate in the Turn for Troops program, contact a Woodcraft store nearest you. If you have never turned a pen but want to learn, check with the local store about instructions the day of the turn-a-thon or about pen making classes. You can also check out this video about pen making:


We also have the Woodcraft Pen Designer to help you figure out what kind of kit and blank you would like to make!

Volunteer turners, who include the public and Woodcraft employees, are asked to write personal notes to go along with their one-of-a-kind writing instruments and express their appreciation to the recipients for service to their country.

Among the recent thank-you notes from pen recipients is one from the executive officer for a medical unit stationed in Afghanistan that underscores the reason for the program. “We were honored to receive some of your wooden pens the other day, and they were a HIT! Thank you for your support of the United States Armed Forces and your continuing commitment to being ‘Made in the USA!’ It’s great to receive gifts from the home front and to know that someone somewhere is thinking about us.”

Another note came from a soldier serving in the Army and stationed in South Korea. “It was a pleasant surprise to receive such a fine pen,” he wrote. “I can assure you it is greatly appreciated.”

For more information about Woodcraft, please contact the store nearest you, visit www.woodcraft.com or call (800) 535-4482.

To learn about Woodcraft franchise opportunities, call (800) 344-3348, visit www.woodcraftfranchise.com or email woodcraftfranchise@woodcraft.com.




Woodcraft Turn-a-Thon: An Opportunity to Make “Thank-You” Pens for American Soldiers
During the Ninth Annual Turn for Troops National Turn-a-thon Over Veterans Day Weekend November 10-11, 2012


PARKERSBURG, W. VA. – (October 2012) Woodturners will gather at Woodcraft stores all over the country on Veterans Day weekend (Nov. 10-11) for the ninth annual Turn for Troops National Turn-a-thon to make one-of-a-kind wood pens for American soldiers. Over 85,000 pens have been turned since the first telethon was held, including 12,558 in 2011.

Anyone interested in making a special “thank-you” pen for American service personnel on active duty or in rehabilitation facilities in the US is invited to participate. To get involved, contact a Woodcraft store near you. If you have never turned a pen but want to learn, check with the local store about instructions the day of the turn-a-thon or about pen making classes.

“Woodcraft employees and woodturners join together in this annual event to make wood pens as tokens of gratitude for the sacrifices American service personnel have made and are making to keep this nation safe,” said president Jody Garrett. “Woodcraft supports this effort by supplying pen kits, and many stores offer instruction in pen turning during the event. Although the Turn for Troops project focuses on the annual turn-a-thon, pen turning occurs before and after that event. So far this year 4,401 pens have been turned – a good start to surpass the 2011 total.”

Pen turning is one of the fastest and easiest woodworking skills to learn and enjoy. A first pen project takes about 30 to 45 minutes, but the time decreases after making several pens. Check out this video about pen making:

You should also check out our awesome Pen Designer

Turners are encouraged to include a handwritten note with each pen they turn, and responses from recipients of the pens confirm the project’s worth: From Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan: “I just wanted to say thank you for the work, dedication and craftsmanship that went into making the pens for us. I received my pen a couple of days before Christmas, and it is great to know that Americans took time from their day to make and send us such a great gift. I never thought the words ‘Handmade in the USA’ would look so good! Thank you, Merry Christmas and God Bless America!”

From U.S. Naval Forces Central Command in Afghanistan in a request for pens: “Thank you again for your support; the troops are always impressed by the craftsmanship and unique designs of the pens.”

For more information about Woodcraft, please contact the store nearest you, visit www.woodcraft.com or call (800) 535-4482. To learn about Woodcraft franchise opportunities, call (800) 344-3348, visit www.woodcraftfranchise.com or email woodcraftfranchise@woodcraft.com.



Turn a Pen for a US Soldier During Woodcraft's
Eighth National Turn-a-thon
Saturday, November 12, 2011
PARKERSBURG, W. VA. – (October 2011) You can honor an American soldier by turning a wooden pen during the eighth annual Turn for Troops National Turn-a-thon at Woodcraft stores nationwide on Saturday, Nov. 12. Since the first national turn-a-thon in 2004, Woodcraft has sent a total of 75,000 (12,568 in 2010) one-a-kind wood pens to American service personnel actively deployed overseas and in rehabilitation facilities in the US. In addition to the annual turn-a-thon, some stores schedule multiple Turn for Troops events, and many Woodcraft customers and employees turn pens on their own. Often turners will include a personal note to the soldier who will receive the pen.

Thank-you notes from service men and women attest to the value of this volunteer effort.

From Afghanistan: “A couple of days ago, at a lunch for military chaplains here in Afghanistan, my assistant and I received one of your wooden pens. I am presently the chaplain for a Marine squadron that hasn’t quite gotten to the halfway point of our deployment. To say that I was amazed by such a gift is an understatement. Literally, my first thought was where did these come from and how can I get some for my Marines and handful of Sailors? … For someone to sit down and take the time to turn out such a quality gift means that during that time we were on their minds. A true labor of love and respect.”

From Iraq: “I just wanted to say thank you to the staff and customers who helped in the Turn for Troops. Myself and my platoon received a shipment of your pens. I also wanted to let you know all the support we receive from the states is well appreciated. It makes a big difference knowing we are not alone out here, and the good folks back home such as yourselves make that happen.” From the US: “Sir, I would like to thank you for your donation of these wood pens. They are GREAT. I was hurt in Iraq and now will be medically retiring from the army. I will always walk with a cane. Thanks again.”
According to Woodcraft President Jeff Forbes, “Using basic lathe skills, anyone can produce a good quality pen for our troops quickly. A first pen project takes about 30 to 45 minutes, but after creating a few pens this time can drop down to just 15 minutes each. We hope that this year volunteers will turn more pens so that even more soldiers can be reminded that their sacrifices to protect our country are remembered and appreciated.”

Click here or pen turning instructions, visit.

For more information about Woodcraft, please contact the store nearest you, visit www.woodcraft.com or call (800) 535-4482. To learn about Woodcraft franchise opportunities, call (800) 344-3348, visit www.woodcraftfranchise.com or email woodcraftfranchise@woodcraft.com.




2010 Turn for Troops Update:


There were 52 participating stores in 2010, and the total number of pens turned and shipped out was 12,568! This brings our totals to date to approximately 75,000! Thanks to all of the employees, customers, and dedicated woodturners who helped to achieve this milestone. The soldiers overseas and in rehabilitation centers are appreciative and touched by your thoughtfulness!

Boise took Top Gun with 1,253, followed by San Carlos with 1,177, and a close third of 1167 by Tucson. In truth, every store is appreciated right down to the last one. Thank you.
Two Special Guests Donated Their Time To Participate In The 2010 Allentown, PA Turn for Troops Event!
US Congressman, Charlie Dent - 15th District of Pennsylvania and
PA State Representative, Justin Simmons - PA District 131


Charlie Dent Participating in Turn For Troops Justin Simmons Participating in Turn For Troops
US Congressman, Charlie Dent
PA State Representative, Justin Simmons
Charlie Dent Participating in Turn For Troops Charlie Dent Participating in Turn For Troops



Woodcraft Announces 7th Annual Veterans Day Turn for Troops Initiative
Handmade pens created for U.S. troops overseas;
Public encouraged to participate!



PARKERSBURG, W. VA. – On Saturday, November 6 – the weekend prior to Veterans Day – Woodcraft stores nationwide will host the seventh annual Turn for Troops National Turn-a-thon. Woodcraft customers and the general public are encouraged to join in making handcrafted wooden pens that will be distributed to American service personnel actively deployed overseas or in rehabilitation facilities in the US.

“With the help of our customers and local communities, we were able to create more than 62,000 pens during our 2004-2009 turn-a-thon events,” said Jeff Forbes, president of Woodcraft Supply, LLC. “Hundreds of people — many of whom were first-time turners — have donated their time and talents to creating pens for our troops. We hope that this year volunteers will turn more pens so that even more soldiers can be reminded that people back home remember and appreciate their efforts.”

A Marine gunnery sergeant, one of many pen recipients who have expressed their thanks for the pens, writes: “As I sit here in the sand of Afghanistan looking at one of the pens crafted in support of the troops, I have an overwhelming sense of support. To think that someone took the time to craft a token of appreciation has really made my day. Thank you!”

Pen turning is one of the fastest and easiest woodworking skills to learn and enjoy, according to Forbes. A first pen project takes about 30 to 45 minutes, but after creating a few pens this time can drop down to just 15 minutes each. “Using basic lathe skills,” Forbes said, “anyone can produce a good quality pen for our troops quickly.”

Woodcraft customers and the general public are encouraged to participate. To get involved, contact a Woodcraft store near you. To locate a store or for additional information, visit www.Woodcraft.com.


Woodcraft Hosting Sixth Annual Veteran’s Day Turn-a-thon
Turn for TROOPS
Saturday November 7, 2009
Handmade pens created for U.S. troops overseas;
Public encouraged to participate




PARKERSBURG, W. VA. – For a sixth year, Woodcraft stores nationwide will conduct turn-a-thons making handmade pens during Veteran’s Day Weekend, Saturday November 7, 2009, with the goal of making and then sending thousands of handcrafted pens to American service personnel actively deployed overseas. The public is encouraged to participate and can identify a store near them by visiting www.woodcraft.com.

“With the help of our customers and local communities, we were able to create more than 46,000 pens during our 2004-2008 turn-a-thon events,” said Jeff Forbes, president of Woodcraft Supply LLC. “Woodcraft stores nationwide had hundreds of people --- many of whom were first-time turners --- donate their time and talents to creating pens for our troops. We hope to beat last year’s number so that even more soldiers can receive pens as a constant reminder that people back home remember and appreciate their efforts.”

According to Forbes pen turning is one of the fastest and easiest woodworking skills to learn and enjoy. It requires few supplies, a small amount of workspace and produces relatively fast results. A first pen project takes about 30 to 45 minutes, but after creating a few pens this time can drop down to just 15 minutes each. “Using basic lathe skills,” Forbes said, “anyone can produce a good quality pen for our troops quickly.”

Peter Parker, Woodcraft’s administrator for the Turn for TROOPS program said, “We’ve received amazing participation from both woodworkers and non-woodworkers and I would encourage the public’s participation in this effort. Not only does this remind our servicemen and women that we care deeply about them, but it is also a great activity for parents to share with their children.”

Most of the 80+ Woodcraft stores and Woodworkers Clubs nationwide are expected to participate in the pre-Veteran’s Day Weekend turn-a-thon (November 7). Berea Hardwoods, the pen kit supplier, has agreed to donate 500 pen kits to help jumpstart the event.

Woodcraft Supply LLC annually distributes more than two million catalogs featuring over 8,000 items to all 50 states and 111 foreign countries. Woodcraft is the industry leader in providing a wide variety of top quality products, educational opportunities and one-on-one guidance to woodworkers at all skill levels. The company sells products through direct-mail catalogs, an on-line web site store and at more than 80 retail stores located nationwide. For more information on Woodcraft, please contact the store nearest you, visit www.woodcraft.com or call (800) 535-4482.



Fifth Annual Veterans Day Turn For Troops Pen Turn-a-thon
to be Held at Woodcraft Stores Nationwide
Handmade Pens Created Locally for U.S. Troops Overseas


PARKERSBURG, WV – For a fifth year, the Woodcraft stores from Boston to Honolulu are inviting the general public to participate in a pen turn-a-thon event during Veterans Day – Saturday, November 8, 2008 – to craft wooden, high quality pens for American servicemen and women actively deployed overseas as a reminder that people back home remember and appreciate their efforts, company officials announced.

“Through the help of the general public and our customers and employees, we were able to make and send 10,519 pens to our troops deployed overseas last year,” said Peter Parker, Woodcraft’s program administrator. “We want to surpass that number in 2008. There are so many service people around the world and we know they appreciate having a special gift from home.”

Woodcraft personnel at participating stores will be on hand on November 8 to instruct people how to make the pens. A first pen project takes about 30 to 45 minutes, but after creating a few pens the time can drop down to just 15 minutes each.

“We anticipate many local people will again donate their time and talents both before and during the Veterans Day weekend event to turn pens in our store and to drop off pens they’ve previously completed.”

Since the program’s beginning in January of 2004, more than 35,000 customized pens have been created and sent to members of the armed forces through Woodcraft customers, employees, and others.

At the request of one of the Chaplain’s in Iraq, we produced and sent another 1,600 this past summer along with some woodworking tools for the troops that they had wanted for some of their projects in service. So, we are off to a great start this year already!

Check with your local store’s webpage, by phone or better yet, in person for times and details of their events.



The Woodcraft Veterans Day Turn for TROOPS Turn-a-thon has produced results that none of us would have expected, with an amazing 10,519 pens being turned and shipped to the Middle East. What an outstanding response! We increased from 6,003 last year which is over a 75% jump!

Most of them shipped out on November 21, and the remainder followed up on November 27. There have already been at least two stores contacted by email or cell phone from soldiers saying “thank you” so we know they arrived at their destination.

The top quantity honors go to Nashville who had 1,689 to contribute to the TROOPS. This was not an accident, but the result of hard work and determination. Back in April when the Congress was squabbling about troop funding, David took the matter to heart and began visiting clubs and making arrangements. Aaron also visited woodworking clubs and gave demonstrations on turning pens. There was a committed customer who turned over 500 pens himself in memory of a local serviceman who had made the ultimate sacrifice and to honor another that had returned with life-changing injuries. You can read his story below.

San Carlos took second place with 1381 pens contributed. Eric had a different approach and worked with local school departments.

He also had local Boy Scout troops get involved turning pens.

Working with kids in this way has a double benefit of sorts. First of all, we are getting the pens made for the Troops in harm’s way which was the reason for this program. Secondly, he was making an investment in the future lives of the kids who were involved. They will long remember the opportunity that Eric gave them.

Boise, Idaho was our third location to exceed the 1,000 mark with a contribution of 1,032. When Monte was asked what their secret was, he said “We asked. Sorry for the short response, but it was as simple as that. We asked and people said, ok”.

Because there were stores breaking the thousand mark, it does not lessen the impact of the normal turn-a-thons. Every single one of the pens and notes represents an opportunity to show compassion and kindness to a soldier who is far away from home at Christmas, staring death in the face every day for the sake of righteousness and freedom. This year, when we sit down to open gifts from under bright and glittering trees, let’s take a minute before starting and say a prayer for the guys on the other side of the world – there for us.

We had some of the very creative and well-represented packaging this year. Here are some of the outstanding packages made:

Evansville, IN made red, white blue and yellow ribbons tied into bows on each package.
Jacksonville, FL used patriotic fabric that they had sewn into pen cases. Awesome!
   
Mountaintop Turners made pen holding cases of stitched felt fabric.
Dublin, CA sent notes with each pen.

One customer sent us a package of bullet shell casings that he had gotten engraved with “September 11, 2001” and “God Bless America” asking for help making them into pens. He really wanted them to go to the troops.

Between the manager, Betty, the crew of the Parkersburg store, and some of their customers (and Bill Carroll), they were able to get these figured out and completed.

Berea Hardwoods contributed 1,000 kits and 9,519 were supplied by Woodcraft! We just want to thank each and every participant in this year’s Turn for TROOPS campaign. God Bless America!


One Customer’s Story from Nashville, Tennessee

We met the Clayton’s soon after we moved to Nashville in 1979. They have been our best friends for all these years. Their two oldest daughters and our two daughters are the same age and were then in the same middle school and high school together.

Carole, their third daughter was born in 1979, and in 1981, all the Clayton’s went to Hawaii as part of a business achievement award. Well all went except Carole. At two years old they felt she was too young and she stayed the week with our family. Early in the week she had virtually nothing to do with me. She would neither talk to me nor answer my questions. Typical kid, but by the end of the week she was looking out the window each evening for my car and then announcing “hey, Mom, Dad’s home”. From that statement I have teased Carole over the years as being our third daughter.

Carole grew up, and while attending college here in Nashville, met Gavin Reinke from Pueblo, Colorado, who was stationed then at Fort Campbell, TN. They fell in love and were married in July 2000, and daughter Kayleigh was born December 26, 2002.

During their marriage Gavin had been deployed twice to Korea, and was on his second deployment to Iraq, stationed at Camp Liberty in Baghdad. On May 4, 2006, SSG Gavin Reinke gave his life while serving our country when he stopped his vehicle to help a fellow soldier in trouble. Gavin has been buried with honors at Arlington National Cemetery, in Washington D.C.

We were all devastated, but none more than Carole and Kayleigh, Gavin’s family and friends and the Clayton’s.

SSG Gavin Reinke’s best friend, SSG Daniel Barnes who was stationed in Iraq with Gavin was seriously injured four months later on September 4, 2006, and is now recuperating from those injuries.

While I have been woodturning many years, I had turned only one pen in all that time. The local Woodcraft Store sponsors the Turn for TROOPS program. I did not get involved in 2006, but in 2007 I decided to honor Gavin and Daniel and all those serving our country and defending our freedom. I decided I would turn 502 pens for the program, 500 for distribution to the troops serving America, with #499 to be given to SSG Daniel Barnes in Honor of his Service to our Country and #500 to Carole and Kayleigh in Honor and Memory of a husband and father, SSG Gavin Reinke, for his Service to our Country.
#499 given to SSG Daniel Barnes in Honor
#500 to Carole and Kayleigh in Honor and Memory of a husband and father, SSG Gavin Reinke

I am so pleased I became involved in Turn for TROOPS, Proud of our Troops, and want them to know how much we Americans support them. While I probably will never turn 500 pens again, I will be involved in turning them each year as long as the Turn for TROOPS program continues. I have completed turning the 502 pens and as the project deadline is Veterans Day, November 11, 2007, who knows, maybe I’ll turn a few more between now and then.

Mike Zinser
Nashville, TN

Member: Tennessee Association of Woodturners
Duck River Woodturners
Stones River Woodworkers Club
Tennessee Valley Woodworkers

Store Quantity
Nashville TN   Total 1,689
San Carlos CA   Total 1,381
Boise ID   Total 1,032
Roanoke VA   Total 686
Allentown PA   Total 435
Johnson City TN   Total 352
Peoria IL   Total 310
Greenville SC   Total 306
Columbus OH   Total 265
Jacksonville FL   Total 238
Dublin CA   Total 237
Denver CO   Total 234
Virginia Beach VA   Total 229
Grand Rapids MI   Total 191
Merrillville IN   Total 166
Sacramento CA   Total 164
Seattle WA   Total 161
Albuquerque NM   Total 157
Parkersburg WV   Total 146
Spokane WA Total 141
Toledo OH   Total 127
Cincinnati OH   Total 126
Hartford CT   Total 116
Tulsa OK   Total 113
Dallas TX Total 108
Springfield MA   Total 89
Harrisburg   Total 81
Orlando FL   Total 76
Springfield VA   Total 76
Atlanta GA   Total 73
Loveland CO   Total 66
Reno NV   Total 65
Leesburg VA   Total 59
Lenexa KS   Total 54
Baltimore MD   Total 54
Phoenix AZ   Total 54
Sterling Heights MI   Total 53
Evansville IN   Total 52
Charleston SC Total 52
Austin TX   Total 51
Woodridge IL   Total 47
Norwalk CT   Total 40
San Antonio TX   Total 39
Eugene OR   Total 39
Oklahoma City   Total 38
Fort Wayne   Total 38
Santa Rosa CA   Total 37
Canton MI   Total 29
Colorado Springs CO   Total 27
Louisville KY   Total 25
Fort Worth TX   Total 20
Greensboro NC   Total 20
Appleton WI   Total 17
Tampa FL   Total 16
Indianapolis   Total 15
St Louis   Total 5
Wilmington DE   Total 2

Grand Total 10,519