Mesquite students make toys for shelters, Boys and Girls Clubs - East Valley Tribune: Ahwatukee Foothills

Mesquite students make toys for shelters, Boys and Girls Clubs

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Posted: Thursday, December 9, 2010 1:10 pm | Updated: 7:07 am, Mon Sep 8, 2014.

Tiny doll eyes look up from rows of handmade cradles at Gilbert's Mesquite High School.

The toys, soon to be treasured by 50 underprivileged Valley girls, were put together by a number of students in Stephanie Thomson's and Rick Ford's classes. Members of the Arizona Association of Fine Woodworkers picked them up this week to deliver to crisis shelters and Boys and Girls Clubs. Association members this year created about 250 toys themselves to donate, part of an annual holiday tradition, said Raul Ramirez and Ralph Gumbert.

For several years, Ford's students have created wood toys - usually trucks and cars. But they decided to help the little girls this year. Senior Eyen Fong, 17, used another student's design to create a laser design and cut the cradles from 1/8-inch plywood. Pieces are linked together without nails or glue.

Thomson's family and consumer sciences students made 50 pillows and blankets for the dolls. A student club bought the dolls.

Fong said it took about 100 hours to put together the cradles.

"Most time consuming was the ends because of the curves," he said.

A student in introduction to engineering and electronics and robotics classes, Fong said he has about two years of experience with the cutting laser. He hopes his skills can turn into a part-time job during college. Even if that doesn't happen, it's a fun hobby.

Senior Yancy Esquivel, 17, helped paint the cradles. She said it took about a week to finish them all.

"I like the creativity of it and being able to make anything," she said of her computer-aided design class. "We get to use our skills to help out."

As the toys were taken out of the class, Ford smiled.

"I hope we're going to make some young ladies happy," he said.

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