Mason Dixon Woodworkers History
The Mason Dixon Woodworkers was formed in 1987 primarily through the efforts of Bill Patterson, who was active in the hobby and the club until his death on November 12, 2010. Bill had been involved in woodworking clubs before arriving in the Salisbury area and was interested in getting a group of local hobbyists together to form a similar club. A small group including Ed Nock, Merle Culver, Don Connell, Stanley Bradley and Dick Gladding came together to form the nucleus of the new club. All of these individuals were accomplished woodworkers. Thus the Mason Dixon Woodworkers has been a resource for woodworking enthusiasts for over 20 years.
The primary objective of this club is to promote education and to foster craftsmanship in the art and techniques of woodworking.
- To provide an opportunity for charitable outreach to the communities in which we live, by assisting other organizations through the use of our skills and resources.
- To provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, project design and planning, the use of tools (both hand and power), procedures, materials, processes and techniques, finishing and refinishing associated with woodworking.
- To provide sources of information, material, equipment, supplies and facilities for area woodworkers.
- To arrange field trips to woodworking suppliers as well as commercial and home workshops.
- Have presentations at club meetings by club members, local woodworkers, and occasionally, by professional speakers.
- To keep club members informed of craft shows or other opportunities for selling projects.
To say this group is dedicated is an understatement. They are quite passionate and devote many hours to the production of a wide array of lovely toys for Christmas distribution.
The club has recently received 501C3 status as a non-profit organization. This status as an IRS certified non-profit organization should help in soliciting funds to purchase materials for toy production. At some point we are hoping to secure a larger and dedicated facility to serve as the toy making shop. Meanwhile our toymakers continue to utilize the shop where the whole toy making effort got its start: the Aydelotte workshop.
The toy production began with a gentleman by the name of Irv Aydelotte from Delmar, DE. Irv, or “Poor ol’ Irv” as he was affectionately known, joined the Mason Dixon Woodworkers approximately 18 years ago. When he joined the club he was already active in making toys in the shop next to his home.
He asked other members to join him. Through that request, approximately 15 people joined him in his effort. Due to their dedication the number of toys has increased to approximately 1200 toys per year. The toys are produced all year long, some at the same shop in Delmar, and some at the homes of the volunteers. The distribution of the toys to about 20 organizations takes place on the first Saturday in December. They, in turn, deliver the toys to individual families in need.
The toy campaign was long the dream of Irv’s. He made sure his dream would remain alive even after he was gone. He made a request through his daughter to his wife, Doris Aydelotte, that she would allow the woodworkers to continue to use his workshop to make toys after his death. She has graciously done that and continues to allow the woodworkers to meet and make toys. The woodworkers will continue to meet to make toys as long as funds and workplace are available.