Three Volunteer Woodworkers at Louisiana's Bossier KIDS Foster Care Agency Earn Grand Prize by Building Beds for Children

Post date: May 16, 2011 7:34:37 PM

Minwax, the leading manufacturer of wood finishing and wood care products, has selected Bossier KIDS, Inc., a foster care agency in Bossier City, LA, as the grand prize winner in the 2010 Community Craftsman Award Program. The award was made possible through the contributions of three generous woodworkers – Leon Freeman, Joe McDaniel and Jim Stoval, affectionately known around the agency as the "Crafty Old Men." The volunteers have built sturdy beds for the foster children – who in some cases have had to leave their homes with few personal belongings – to have a safe, snug place to sleep.

The Minwax® Community Craftsman Award is a national program that recognizes individuals and groups which promote community improvement through working with wood, and awards them financial grants and products to encourage continued community service. As the 2010 Community Craftsman Award grand prize winner, Bossier KIDS, Inc. receives a $5,000 cash grant, a supply of Minwax products and a private wood finishing workshop with renowned do-it-yourself expert and author Bruce Johnson. The volunteers of Bossier KIDS, by designing and building these beds, saved the nonprofit agency precious funds, freeing up resources to support the foster children in other ways.

"We are very happy to recognize these selfless volunteers and the good works of Bossier KIDS, for their outstanding community service," notes Janet Krakow, vice president, marketing, Sherwin-Williams Wood Care Products. "These volunteer woodworkers' tremendous contributions to Bossier KIDS – and thus, their community – truly embody the spirit and intent of the Minwax® Community Craftsman Award. It also demonstrates how the gratifying activity of working with wood can be even more satisfying when done for the good of others."

Individual Recognition Award

The 2010 Individual Recognition Award – including a $2,000 cash grant and a supply of Minwax products – was awarded to Cliff Hay of the Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester, VT. Hay, a wood shop teacher at the independent school, has dedicated his shop to service-learning, which integrates meaningful community service with instruction. As a result, he and his students have worked on projects benefitting Habitat for Humanity, a local day-care organization, a veteran's center, and the school itself. Hay also took a group of students to New Orleans to help clean up and rebuild after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area.

Runner-Up Award Recipients

Two organizations were named Community Craftsman Award runners-up for outstanding community service – the woodworking class at Lincoln Park High School in Brownsville, TX, and Rick Jason of Germantown, NY. Each will receive a generous assortment of Minwax products for use in future projects. The students at Lincoln Park High School constructed a variety of therapeutic wood furniture pieces for the Moody Clinic, which serves disabled children and their families. The students built adjustable chairs and tables and balance boards and built a therapeutic wood gym in the clinic, using a ShopBot CNC machine to cut precision wood parts. Mr. Jason designed and constructed furniture and library shelves, otherwise known as "stacks," for the town's new library, spending more than 600 hours designing, building and installing the woodwork.

Minwax® Issues Call for Entries for 2011 Community Craftsman Award Program

Entries are being accepted for the 2011 Community Craftsman Award. Individuals, community groups, schools, and associations that promote and participate in the betterment of their communities through woodworking are eligible participants. The grand prize winner will receive a $5,000 cash grant, a supply of Minwax products, and a consultation with author and wood finishing expert Bruce Johnson. An individual recognition award and cash grant of $2,000 will be presented to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to their community through woodworking. Additionally, two runner-up winners will receive a supply of Minwax products. The deadline for all submissions is December 31, 2011. The winners will be announced in spring 2012 and the names posted on the Minwax website at All eligible applicants are encouraged to enter by writing a summary of recent woodworking projects that have been completed for the purpose of enhancing their community and helping others. Entries can be submitted by either (1) uploading to the Minwax website at, (2) via email by writing to, or (3) via mail by writing to MINWAX Community Craftsman Award, c/o Brushfire Inc., 2 Wing Drive, Cedar Knolls, NJ 07927. For more information visit