28th annual Toy Contest held at Ansonia Lumber


By Tammy Watts

ANSONIA —Ansonia Lumber held the 28th Wooden Toy Contest to benefit needy children on December 11. Scott Phillips, host of the PBS program “American Woodshop,” now in its 29th season, judged the contest. “I don’t like to judge,” he stated, “I go by thinking back, if I’m a boy or a girl, and see these under the tree, which one am I going to grab first?”

First place went to Cathy Liening for her circus block set; in second place was Kenneth Pence, with a marble labyrinth game; Harry Niswonger took third place with a Sherman tank; fourth place went to Jim and Rich Hampshire for a schoolhouse playset; fifth place was awarded to Neal Pleiman for a semi hauler and car (he also entered a rocking chair and an airplane); and Ron Myers took sixth place with a gumball aggravation game (he also entered a basketball goal and a tic-tac-toe board.) Other entries in the adult division included John Burnett with a toy box and jewelry box; Gerald Brehm with two cradles; Carl Goewert with an army tank and livestock truck; Mark Bruns with a white oak and walnut bulldozer; Michael Foreman with a truck and front end loader; Neal Burns with a duck pull toy; Mitch McCabe with two airplanes; Brad Lentz with a Connect Four game; and Allen Cox with a marshmallow crossbow.

In the Youth division, Owen Marker was awarded first place for his chess set/checkerboard. Lucas Marker took second place with a colorful croquet set; Owen and Gavin Frey won third place with their Plinko board; and in fourth place was Max Lentz with wooden animals.

When asked how much time the participants spent on each of their entries, not one of them could give an answer. “You don’t know how much time went into it, because you are doing something you love, and want to give it away,” Phillips said. Everyone nodded in agreement.

A special thanks was given to Mitch McCabe of Ansonia Lumber. “Mitch is the glue that holds this together,” Phillips acknowledged. Every family in attendance took home a miniature wooden mailbox stamp holder, made by Harry Niswonger. Frank Miller Lumber of Union City donated the hardwood for the contestants.

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