Woods program receives donation from Ryobi company

After contacting Ryobi, 2016 graduate Alexa Summers assisted in the donation of two scroll saws to BVNW.

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Woods program receives donation from Ryobi company

Alexa Summers

Alexa Summers

Alexa Summers

Gabe Swartz, Sports Editor

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After creating a mechanical clock as part of a SkillsUSA competition during her junior year, 2016 graduate Alexa Summers made it her goal to get the woods program at BVNW a scroll saw. Despite constant pandering by Summers with wood teach teacher Don Gustafson and Darren Masten, a scroll saw was never purchased.

Even though Summers has graduated, it did not stop her from pursuing other means of acquisition for the woods program.

“I thought it would be kind of funny if I went out and bought one and donated it to the woodshop room just as a last-minute thing,” Summers said.

After checking out prices for the scroll saws at Home Depot, Summers realized the equipment would be more expensive than she had originally thought. Summers contacted Ryobi to see if she could get a discount on her purchase, but said she had tempered expectations on what she would hear back from Ryobi.

“I thought they would give me the discount that I asked for or they were going to be like ‘sorry we don’t make donations like that,’” Summers said.

Much to her surprise, Summers said Ryobi emailed her back offering to donate the scroll saw to BVNW for free. Along with the donation, Ryobi offered Summers the opportunity to choose any extra equipment the woods program would be in need of up to a $500 value, as well as a graduation gift for herself. Summers said she could not believe it when she first got the email.

“I almost started crying,” Summers said. “I was so excited because all I wanted was that scroll saw and I just thought it would be the coolest thing ever if I could give that back to the woodshop program, and then they gave me everything else that I could have possibly asked for to give back.”

Woods teacher Don Gustafson said Summers’ persistence paid off and it will directly benefit students in the future with their projects.

“Anyone who has intricate projects will be able to have the saw [available],” Gustafson said.

Summers said she has not decided what other equipment she will donate to the program or choose for herself. She said she will see what Gustafson and Masten think is needed, as well as keeping other things in mind.

“I’m afraid if I get some really fancy piece of equipment my dad’s going to start making me do stuff around the house, so I don’t know what I’m going to pick for my gift,” Summers said.

Summers said she was also able to provide the art department with a scroll saw with extra money.

“They also ended up sending me an extra scroll saw, because I thought it was included in the $500, but it wasn’t,” Summers said. “I gave the second one to the art department.”

With the ability to use the new equipment, Summers said she hopes it allows future students to venture out and try bigger, better things.

“I hope this inspires people to build more difficult projects and they have access to newer machines that they weren’t able to in the past,” Summers said.