Monday, October 12, 2009

Doing Good with Wood

UPPER SADDLE RIVER, N.J. — Minwax, the leading manufacturer of wood finishing and wood care products, announces the last call for entries for the 2009 Community Craftsman Award. Eligible participants include individuals, community groups, schools, associations and woodworking clubs or guilds that promote and participate in the betterment of their communities through woodworking.

The grand prize is a $5,000 cash grant, a supply of Minwax products, and a consultation with author and wood finishing expert Bruce Johnson. Two runner-up organizations will receive a supply of Minwax products, and a special recognition award and cash grant of $2,000 will be presented to one individual award winner. The deadline for all submissions is December 31, 2009.

The Community Craftsman Award Program recognizes the growing number of people and organizations that are volunteering and working together to improve their community. According to Volunteering in America, neighborhood engagement levels have risen sharply since 2007, with a 31 percent increase in the number of people who worked with their neighbors to fix a community problem. As the economy slows and nonprofit organizations struggle to provide services on smaller budgets, volunteers become even more vital to the health of our nation's communities.

"Since the inception of the Community Craftsman Award Program, we've seen scores of wonderful projects submitted by volunteers who enjoy woodworking and wood finishing," said Janet Krakow, vice president, marketing, Sherwin-Williams Wood Care Products. "We encourage all those who have used their woodworking skills to improve their community - giving freely of their time and enthusiasm - to submit their project for consideration."

The winners will be announced in early spring 2010. All eligible applicants are encouraged to enter by writing a summary of recent woodworking projects. Entries can be submitted by either (1) uploading on the Minwax Web site at, (2) via e-mail by writing to, or (3) via mail by writing to MINWAX Community Craftsman Award, c/o Brushfire Inc., 2 Wing Drive, Cedar Knolls, NJ 07927.

Using the Community Craftsman Award Program to encourage volunteerism shows great initiative on Minwax's part. It is a unique effort in the sense that it focuses on everyday people coming together in support of projects they believe in, through a hobby they enjoy, while also fostering camaraderie and support within local communities. All in all, a great idea.

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