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by Melissa Kalicicki, Annual Gifts Officer

“My mom always said, ‘Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.’” Leonard Brunk sits across from me, hands folded in his lap and a smile on his face. All around him are his hand-made creations. Hand-turned bowls and cups, tea boxes made from oak and other kinds of wood, a chair that’s in progress. Anna, his wife, motions to it, so Leonard pulls it out.  “This is a new project I’m working on,” Leonard says. He patiently shows me the area he cut to redo the seat, where the seams meet, and how he’s planning to finish it. “You never fully stop learning when you’re a woodworker.”

As Chairman of the Woodshop for about 12 years, Leonard has a lot of experience in woodworking. It didn’t begin there though. For him, it began as a boy.  “We lived on a farm in Lima, Ohio. My father fixed my brothers and I a small woodshop. While he stayed primarily a farmer, I drifted toward woodworking,” Leonard explains. “For years, my enjoyment of carpentry went by the wayside as I took on other forms of employment, and the lathe my father bought me as a teen stayed in my basement. Around 1990, I was working at Honeybrook Tel-Hai Christian camp doing maintenance and carpentry, and I began to have the time to focus on my craft once again. Then I moved to Landis Homes in 2004, so I had even more time to play in the sawdust.” He laughs and I can’t help noticing his self-deprecating humor.

I ask, “How do you determine fine craftsmanship when looking at something?” Leonard doesn’t miss a beat in answering me. His hands make motions as he speaks passionately about what he’s invested in for so long. “How they’re put together. Do the seams meet perfectly? Does the grain match? Are the joints tight? All these things are indicators of the level of craftsmanship.” Leonard pulls out a picture frame he made and lets me inspect it. “I’m a bit of a perfectionist.” He chuckles. “But if I’m going to put my name on it, I want to make sure it’s done well.”

Just like his Mom used to say.

“I enjoy the satisfaction of making something for the Benefit Auction and having it turn out nice. And I know it’s going toward a good cause,” Leonard says.

Leonard, along with 35 other carpenters, utilize the workshop year-round. Some of them donate pieces that are auctioned off at the Benefit Auction on Fellowship Day. The proceeds from the  Auction go to the Caring Fund, which assists residents whose financial resources fall short of the cost of the care they need.

In addition to wood, if you work with fabric, paper, pottery, glass, jewelry and other mediums, and you would like to donate an item, you are invited to join in! Fellowship Day is Saturday, September 8th, 2018, and it isn’t too soon to begin thinking about what you’d like to make!

Feel free to call Alonna G. Sprunger, Advancement Events Specialist, at (717) 381-3580 or email advancement@landishomes.org with any questions. Your participation is greatly appreciated!

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