Stories of Meaningful Change


Stories from the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.

New Woodshop at Flushing Senior Center

Don Liversedge works on the new lathe.

New Woodshop at Flushing Senior Center

Wayne Denkins spent 32 years teaching woodshop at Flushing High School and Flushing Junior High. When he retired, he didn't plan to come back. But he's back.

John Brost volunteered his time for months, fixing equipment in the old woodshop in the lower level of the former Flushing Junior High School on Elm Street.

Bruce Smith serves as shop monitor, making sure participants are keeping their safety glasses on and sleeves rolled up.

And Gary Dearing smiles, knowing that the woodshop revitalization project is getting men involved in activities provided through the Flushing Senior Center where he serves as director. Earlier this year, the Flushing Senior Center was offered the use of the woodshop that was abandoned 10 years ago.

"We set out to create a full woodshop experience complete with all the equipment. We were excited that this incredible offer would give our seniors an opportunity to be creative and make beautiful projects out of wood," Dearing explained.

He recruited volunteers who began the cleanup and inventory. Most of the machines were 60 years old and covered with dust. After time and some elbow grease, many of the machines were repaired to working order. Except for the lathe, an important tool in any woodshop experience. With a $2,392 grant from the Flushing Area Community Fund, a new lathe was purchased.

"We are now able to offer the opportunity for experienced woodworkers as well as newcomers," Dearing said. "We look forward to many years of wood turning on our new lathe."

Other donations have poured in as well-a table saw, miter saw, band saw and a Shopsmith. Others have donated wood and other tools.

"It took many people to make this happen and I could not be prouder of our organization and membership," Dearing added.