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It all started when…

MCF Executive Director, Scott Witzig was talking with his friend, Jon Rocke, Executive Director of Peoria Rescue Ministries (PRM), about his idea to hold a Chair-ity Auction fundraiser.  Scott explained that he needed to find someone to build approximately 30 chairs, so that local school groups, charities, and artists could paint them and donate them back to the MCF to be auctioned off.

After hearing this, Jon explained that he had been thinking about possibly starting a project for the men in PRM's Victory Acres addiction recovery program.  His idea was that the men could learn a skill by building chairs and other items out of some of the nicer donated wood pallets and crates, that are currently being shredded and turned into mulch.  Jon suggested that they would be interested in building 30 chairs for the MCF as a pilot project, giving PRM an idea of whether or not the idea would be a viable program for Victory Acres. 

He then contacted two of his volunteers, Charlie Dean, and Darrell Goodman, both retired men, with excellent woodworking skills, and asked them to create a chair design, make patterns, and build the chairs.  Charlie and Darrell created patterns, purchased wood (pallets and crates were not used for these chairs), screws, etc, for 16 chairs cut all the pieces , and sent them out to Victory Acres to be primed by the men there.  Once all the pieces were primed, they were assembled.  Check out the time-lapse video of a chair being assembled by Charlie and Darrell.  Sixteen more chairs were built, using the same patterns, by another PRM volunteer, Bruce Ekhoff, with some help from men from his Small Group Bible Study... David King, Bill Troyer, Steve Bachman, and David Schissler.

This was a wonderful collaboration... the Morton Community Foundation benefitted by getting 30 very sturdy, quality, chairs for free, and PRM learned what they need to know in order to make a decision as to whether they should pursue this project for Victory Acres.

If you'd like to learn more about Peoria Rescue Ministries and their various programs, click the button below...