While Heron’s Key officially opened just several days ago, there were quite a few friendships that were formed long before this Life Plan Community opened. More than a dozen men formed a group called the Woodshop Club, a group in which attendees regularly meet to create various pieces of wood.
The Woodshop Club, formed by Al Vasquez and Dick Abrams, started about a year ago when Heron’s Key Charter Members filled out forms stating their interests. Al and Dick recognized there was an interest by a number of men to form a woodshop group, so they started contacting people to find out their particular interests in woodshop, as well as their experience. Craig Russell, one of the members, organized a field trip to Emerald Heights, sister community of Heron’s Key in Redmond, to learn from their Woodshop Club. They gained some advice about starting the group and helped establish what tools were needed to begin.
Within the past year, the members of the group have been corresponding back and forth to gauge what tools are still needed and what members will be bringing to the group. Any excess tools will be donated to Habitat for Humanity.
When asked why they decided to form the group months before the community opened, Russell stated, “There were a number of benefits. One being that we needed to identify what tools we have amongst us and what tools we’ll need to purchase. We also wanted to learn what interests people have within the group whether it be toy making, building shelves and cabinets, making furniture, etc. Finally, we wanted to establish a comradery between the members, not only for the group, but we’re all neighbors, so it’s good to get a sense of who you’ll be living next to before the big move.”
The Woodshop Club is not going to be one of formality with scheduled meetings. It’s more project driven, so while some members will use it for fun and miscellaneous crafts, the club will mainly be used for building things around Heron’s Key, such as shelves for residents, items for a railroad club, raised beds for a community garden, repairs for a resident, and more.
The group is open to anyone and everyone, but experience is needed to use some of the power tools. “There are safety regulations we need to abide by, but we want this club to be open to anyone who is interested,” said Abrams. “We will be holding training programs to get residents with little experience up to speed, and we’re excited to introduce a new hobby to residents!”
Russell shared that the group came up with a mission statement to describe their passion and purpose for the Woodshop Club: To build and provide value for the Heron’s Key community and be of value to the Gig Harbor community, as well with toymaking and any other services we can provide.
Both Russell and Abrams are thrilled to start working regularly with individuals that share the same passion. “It’s been a very active group thus far, so I expect it to only grow in size and passion as time goes on,” said Russell. “We are truly excited and look forward to our futures building together at Heron’s Key!”