EDSS car­pen­try stu­dents put their Skills to good use in sup­port of MCC

The Woolwich Observer - - NEWS - ALI WIL­SON

TAK­ING PART IN LAST week’s Skills Canada re­gional com­pe­ti­tion, the car­pen­try team from EDSS wasn’t just tak­ing part in an aca­demic ex­er­cise, adding a lit­tle com­mu­nity good into the mix.

The dual-pur­pose event saw stu­dents com­pete in pairs to build planter boxes out of do­nated ma­te­ri­als to be given to the Men­non­ite Cen­tral Com­mit­tee as a fundraiser to sup­port the agency’s re­lief work.

“We have al­ways tried to have some kind of com­mu­nity con­nec­tion with Skills Canada,” said teacher Randy Dyck. “We re­ally feel like the skills that we have and the abil­ity we have to reach out to the com­mu­nity at large in some fash­ion, pro­vide that kind of op­por­tu­nity for the young peo­ple to be in­volved.”

Lo­cal busi­ness spon­sors as­sisted in fund­ing the project, as well as in the ac­tual project chal­lenge dur­ing the day. Mar-span from Dray­ton and Frey Build­ing Con­trac­tors in Hawkesville do­nated ma­te­ri­als for the project, Menno S. Martin Con­trac­tor of St. Ja­cobs pro­vided a skilled judge for the com­pe­ti­tion, and Men­noHomes helped to co­or­di­nate the do­na­tion.

“We think it’s re­ally good for the kids to have the hands-on work and then to re­al­ize that you can do some­thing for the broader com­mu­nity, and years from now they will say, ‘re­mem­ber when we did that and built it for this agency and this or­ga­ni­za­tion?’ and what­not. And we think that’s some­thing great to be a part of,” said Dan Driedger, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Men­noHomes.

Each of the com­mu­nity part­ners de­tailed ex­actly why they find it im­por­tant to give back to the com­mu­nity, but it was clear that sup­port­ing and en­cour­ag­ing youth in the trades was at the fore­front.

“Any­thing we can do as a com­pany to pro­mote skilled crafts­man and trades, we are all about that. Cer­tainly, to have the fin­ished prod­uct to go to Men­noHomes that speaks to us as a com­pany help­ing out an­other or­ga­ni­za­tion and en­cour­ag­ing and em­pow­er­ing kids to do that,” said Ryan Martin, pres­i­dent of Frey Build­ing Con­trac­tors.

“We sup­port any­thing in the build­ing pro­grams, want to en­cour­age that and want to see young peo­ple grow in the trades. So for us, we are happy to do it and, again, a good cause to do­nate the planters too – it’s some­thing that we feel is very worth do­ing,” added Art Janzen owner of Menno S. Martin Con­trac­tor Ltd.

As for the stu­dents who par­tic­i­pated, it was clear that the in­ten­tion of pro­vid­ing a ves­sel for youth to give back to the com­mu­nity re­ally sunk in with them. Bren­dan Brubacher and Matthew Radler earned sil­ver build­ing their planter boxes.

“We are hav­ing fun do­ing some­thing that we en­joy and it is also go­ing to a great cause, so win-win sit­u­a­tion here,” said Radler.

The planter boxes will be sold at the New Ham­burg Men­non­ite Re­lief Sale May 25-26.


The EDSS Skills Canada car­pen­try team par­tic­i­pants made planter boxes from com­mu­nity-do­nated ma­te­ri­als that will be in sold in sup­port of the MCC. Back row: Ryan Martin, Art Janzen, Matthew Radler, Brendan Brubacher, Randy Dyck, Mathew Frey, Dy­lan...

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