If you’re looking for that one piece of odd fitting furniture but can’t find it anywhere, then the Wilmot Seniors Woodworking and Craft Club (WSWCC) in Baden is quite possibly the place for you.
A popular venue for creative seniors with a penchant for woodworking and other crafts, the shop also offers custom services.
“Sometimes people come in with a plan for something that fits a certain spot in their house and they can’t find it; well, we’ll make it for them,” said the club’s past-president, John Gruhl, noting that such custom projects help support the operational costs of running the facility and also offer an inexpensive alternative for customers. Products made there are also sold at Herrle’s Country Farm Market in St. Agatha.
A unique facility, offering retired seniors ages 55 and above a place to work with wood and other materials, the Wilmot Seniors Woodworking and Craft Club last week received a $6,779 funding grant through the federal government’s capital assistance component of the New Horizons for Seniors Program, which aims to help organizations that support seniors to replace outdated equipment or undertake needed renovations.
The money will be used to upgrade equipment which includes a drum sander, saws, chisels and a grinder for the machine shop.
Needless to say, Gruhl and his fellow club members were happy about the news.
“We support ourselves, basically. Without the federal government’s help, it would be difficult to replace some of the equipment that needs to be replaced.”
Located at 27 Beck St. in Baden, the WSWCC was founded by the late Leonard Bechtel – a former New Hamburg homebuilder who passed away in March – some 20 years ago. Currently, it offers seniors many opportunities to participate in woodworking, metalworking and other craft programs. There they can build virtually anything they want, from birdfeeders for their grandchildren to beds and other furniture. People can even order custom-made products, and in the process, help cover the operational costs of the club.
Open to seniors from Baden and the surrounding municipalities, including Waterloo, Kitchener and Wellesley, the club is more than a venue where members enjoy their favourite hobby.
“It’s a really great place for seniors. We have fellows here who’ve had strokes and stuff like that, and it keeps them active and gets them better; people with arthritis, it keeps them going instead of sitting at home and feeling worse,” said Gruhl, noting that the local facility is truly unique, a fact that was obviously not lost on government representatives when adjudicating grant applications.
“I think that’s one of the reasons why, when we applied, the politicians came here and looked at this: they can see what’s happening here. You can see that this is a really good thing. It’s well run, it’s well looked after, and it’s in really good shape,” he said.
The club is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every day, except for statutory holidays. Annual membership costs $40. For further information contact Robert Johnstone at 519-634-5357.