Ded­i­cated to spread­ing de­light

Toy­mak­ers spend the year pre­par­ing for fes­tive sea­son

Maroochy Weekly - - LIFE LOCAL - Jor­gia White jor­gia.white@sc­news.com.au

AT THE time of the year when it seems ev­ery­one is busy ex­chang­ing gifts, for those less for­tu­nate their sit­u­a­tion can be far harder to swal­low.

This is, of course, if gen­er­ous com­mu­nity mem­bers didn’t spend the year mak­ing sure no one goes with­out.

And this is ex­actly what the hard-work­ing team of Toy­mak­ers of Liv­ing Choice Kawana do best.

Af­ter a huge year last year, do­nat­ing more than 200 beau­ti­fully hand-crafted pieces to the Sal­va­tion Army and chil­dren in need, the team has al­ready been pre­par­ing for this Christ­mas for the last seven months.

Mem­ber of the group John Sut­ton said they started more than sev en years ago and the group had grown through­out the years.

“As time has gone on we’ve ex­panded what we make,” he said.

While they only have a small workspace, they make do to pro­duce some re­mark­able de­signs, in­clud­ing ev­ery­thing from trucks and planes to cots, bil­lie carts and chil­dren’s ta­bles and chairs.

“We make things from small lit­tle push cars to big billy carts,” he said.

“We’ve made cots and bassinets and lots of other things with wheels.”

All items are then hand-painted by ac­claimed artist and fel­low Liv­ing Choice res­i­dent Brian Spencer.

The group works along­side the vil­lage’s craft group, which cre­ate all the bed­ding for the cots in be­tween their work pro­vid­ing hand-made items to the Sun­shine Coast Univer­sity Hospi­tal.

Mr Sut­ton said the work was most ben­e­fi­cial for those in­volved as it helped to keep them busy and give back.

“We thor­oughly en­joy all the time we spend putting it to­gether,” he said.

Norma Lawrence, who has been a part of the group for more than five years now, said wood­work was some­thing she had loved through­out her life.

“It wasn’t un­til I came here that there was an op­por­tu­nity to get in­volved in some­thing like this,” she said.

Mr Sut­ton said de­spite their love, all their work would not be pos­si­ble with­out their gen­er­ous donors who pro­vided the ma­jor­ity of their re­sources.

“Bun­nings give us quite a lot of tim­ber,” he said.

“A res­i­dent also helps with get­ting do­na­tions of tim­ber.

“We use a lot of con­sum­ables, so we need as many do­na­tions as pos­si­ble.”

Other hard-work­ing team mem­bers in­clude George Hu­menik, Gra­ham Hib­bert, Don Lind­say and Ker­rie Gas­teen.

Last year toy do­na­tions filled the en­tire au­di­to­rium at the Sal­va­tion Army prior to go­ing to their new home and this year Mr Sut­ton hopes they can do it all again.

We thor­oughly en­joy all the time we spend putting it to­gether.

— John Sut­ton

PHOTO: JOHN MCCUTCHEON

MAK­ING A DIF­FER­ENCE: John Sut­ton and Danny Wise work­ing hard on toys for Christ­mas.

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