Woodcraft Volunteers Turn Over 10,000 Wooden Pens

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More than 13,000 one-of-a-kind wood pens crafted at Woodcraft’s 11th Turn for Troops National Turn-a-Thon are on their way overseas and to rehabilitation centers – gifts for military personnel who serve to protect the United States. 

Woodturners gathered at Woodcraft stores nationwide in November to turn 13,227 pens – 1,953 more than in 2013 – to bring the 11-year total to 119,489. Turners at Woodcraft in Tucson, Arizona, made the most pens (3,180) for the fourth consecutive year, while the Nashville, Tennessee, store leads in total number of pens turned (11,571) in the past 11 years. Other 2014 leaders are: Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1,540; Boise, Idaho, 1,323; and Nashville, 1,257. Other overall leaders are: Boise, 11,327; Tucson, 11,229; and San Carlos, California, 7,565.

“Woodcraft extends sincere thanks to volunteer woodturners and store personnel who continue to make this annual Turn for Troops event a success,” Woodcraft president Jody Garrett said. “We know from the recipients’ notes that these pens carry an important ‘thank-you’ message to soldiers overseas, as well as those who are recovering from injuries sustained in the line of duty.”

Harrisville, West Virginia, Mayor Alan Haught, who turns several pens each year for the Woodcraft store in nearby Parkersburg, recently received one of those thank-you notes from an airman apprentice who served aboard the USS George H. W. Bush aircraft carrier. The airman wrote in part: “I just wanted to thank you personally. I used that pen daily on documents necessary for continued combat flight operations. It was a fine example of how a little support from the American people goes a long way in the military.”

“It makes it all worthwhile when you receive a thank you like this,” Haught said.

Volunteer Chad Fogel brought his eight-year-old son Alex to the turn-a-thon at the Rockville, Maryland, Woodcraft store. “Chad originally found us through the Wounded Warrior project,” Amy Bender, retail manager, said. “We host a group of Wounded Warriors twice a month in conjunction with our local woodturning affiliate, the Montgomery County Woodturners (MCW), whose members teach them how to turn pens. Chad enjoyed the program so much that he became a member of the club and an avid turner. Chad brought Alex to Turn for Troops, and they stayed all day, turning four pens each, as well as helping the novices along.”

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