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  • Each year, local residents (L-R) Bill Carbin, Don Ames, Andy Borland and Barry Frankel use their woodworking skills to create hundreds of wooden toys to donate to area children in need.
    Photos by Mitchell Bode
    Each year, local residents (L-R) Bill Carbin, Don Ames, Andy Borland and Barry Frankel use their woodworking skills to create hundreds of wooden toys to donate to area children in need.
  • As members of the Annapolis Area Woodworkers Guild, the men use their carving skills to create toy airplanes, cars, tractor trailers, dolls and doll beds, boxes, pickup trucks and puzzles.
    As members of the Annapolis Area Woodworkers Guild, the men use their carving skills to create toy airplanes, cars, tractor trailers, dolls and doll beds, boxes, pickup trucks and puzzles.
  • The group uses Andy Borland’s Severna Park garage as their workshop.
    The group uses Andy Borland’s Severna Park garage as their workshop.

For Local Group, Woodworking Is More Than A Hobby

Mitchell Bode
Mitchell Bode's picture
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December 11, 2013

Annapolis Guild Members Make Hand-Carved Toys For Children In Need

Since retiring as longtime athletic director and football coach at Severna Park High School, Andy Borland has been a very busy guy. As a member of the Annapolis Woodworking Guild, Borland, along with the other members of the Guild - Don Ames, Paul Dodson, Jim Jordan, Bill Carbin and Barry Frankel - started a charitable holiday gift-giving project in 2011.

Each year, the longtime friends take time out of their busy schedules to develop new woodworking skills and make toys to donate to local children in need. The group meets on Mondays in Borland’s Severna Park garage. “Being in our toy workshop is a really good thing because it allows us to work in our hobby of choice and still give back to a charity,” Borland explained. “We have the joy of creating something that will bring joy to a child’s heart.”

Using donated wood from local businesses, the members create toy airplanes, cars, tractor trailers, dolls and doll beds, boxes, pickup trucks and puzzles. Last year, Borland and his team created a total of 400 handmade wood carved toys and donated them to a variety of charities, including Sarah’s House, Cisco Center, SPAN (Serving People Across Neighborhoods), Backpack Buddies at Tyler Heights, Hope House of Baltimore and victims of Hurricane Sandy.

The group’s dedication to their work is apparent as Borland and his fellow woodworkers share their aspirations to make an even greater number of toys this year. “So far we have already crafted over 450 toys,” he stated.

The efforts of the Annapolis Woodworking Guild are supported by local clubs such as the Quilting Guild of Severna Park, the Quilting Guild of Annapolis and the Prayer Shawl Knitting Group of Woods Memorial Church. These auxiliary groups handcraft the quilts and accessories for the dolls and their beds.

Andy credits the participating groups for bringing the holiday project to fruition. “The Annapolis Woodworking Guild would not be able to successfully perform this project without the help of the supporting cast. People don’t truly realize the contributions other groups put into this project,” he emphasized.

Success of the program, along with an increased demand from the charities, has accounted for much of the upsurge in toy production. Due to the increase in demand, Borland and his fellow woodworkers will continue to meet every Monday for four hours through the remainder of the holiday season.

Borland encourages anyone who is interested in woodworking to join the Annapolis Woodworkers Guild, which meets the second Thursday of each month at 7:00pm at Davidsonville Methodist Church on 214 Central Avenue in Davidsonville.


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