Woodcarvers give back
Donations go toward city programs
By Angie Landsverk
A club that meets at the Waupaca Recreation Center has donated funds for rec programs.
The Waupaca Area Woodcarvers donated $250 to the Waupaca Senior Center and $250 for Waupaca’s recreation programs.
“It’s our way of giving back to this community, which has been so good to us,” said Harold Mohr, the club’s president.
It raised the funds through club dues and what it received from the Waupaca Community Arts Board for doing a workshop at Arts on the Square.
“We’re hoping this will be an annual thing – giving donations – whether it’s here or something else in the city,” Mohr said. “It’s just our way of giving back wherever we can help.”
Sara Reybrock, the city’s senior citizen coordinator, wants to use the donation to start an innovative, new program for senior citizens.
Kassandra Humke, Waupaca’s recreation programmer, plans to put the donation toward new rec programs.
The Waupaca Area Woodcarvers meets from about 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday the recreation and senior center are open.
Its meetings take place in the space outside of the Augie Austin Gym.
Organized in 2013, the club has been meeting there for a few years.
It initially met in the senior center, located in the building’s lower level.
The club started with about five people, Mohr said.
It currently has about 30 members.
One does not have to be a member of the club to attend its weekly meetings at the center.
However, people do have to be members of the senior center.
An annual senior center membership is $15 for those who live in the city and the towns of Dayton and Farmington, Reybrock said.
She said the annual membership is $20 for those living outside of those areas.
“We do find a lot of people end up joining the club,” Mohr said.
He has been carving for 45 years and said the club caters to everyone – from those who have never carved to experienced carvers.
“If anyone is interested in joining, stop in on Wednesdays. The dues are $25 for the club,” Mohr said. “If people are just interested in learning or what we’re about, stop in and see us.”
Each year, during the rec center’s Halloween Party, the club does soap carving with the children in attendance.
“We went through 75 bars of soap at this past event,” he said.
Kay Durrant has been carving for 30-some years.
She got interested in when she was a 4-H leader.
Durrant asked the caretakers of Loyola Villa, located on the Chain O’ Lakes, to do a carving demonstration for the 4-H club.
“I fell in love with it,” she said of carving. “They were our teachers in the area long ago.”
That was the beginning of carving here for many people.
Today she volunteers to make Christmas ornaments for the children participating in Shop with a Cop.
“I would like to see us do more community-type activities,” Durrant said. “Hopefully, we can convince others to come and start learning. I hope it won’t be a lost art.
She is glad area woodcarvers have a place to meet.
“I’m happy it’s continuing here,” Durrant said. “This was a great gift for us to come here.”