HAMBURG, N.Y. (WKBW) — Between spinning demonstrations in front of the Creative Arts and Woodcarvers building at the Erie County Fair, Western New York Woodturner Joe Wiesnet stops to make sure every one watching knows his work is for a good cause.
"I let them know it's all 100% for Make a Wish," he replies. Dozens of woodturners from clubs across WNY dedicate their year to turning products--tables of them. Fair goers can purchase everything from wine stoppers to toys and bowls to cups with every single dime going to Make a Wish WNY.
"It's kind of the DNA of a woodturner. It's kind of what you do," Wiesnet said.
"We actually grant wishes for kids who have critical illnesses. We transform their lives one wish at a time and the woodturners are in support of that year after year," Kate Glaser of Make a Wish WNY said.
WNY Woodturners have partnered with Make a Wish WNY for 15+ years, raising more than $200,000. Last year, the group raised more than $21,000 for the nonprofit. Wiesnet said the group is on track to beat last year's donation.
"If you exceed last year, that probably means you can probably send one more kid for a wish," he said.
Wiesnet said the moment Wish Kids come back to visit during the fair, makes it all worth while.
Glaser adding: "If you come by and support the woodturners, you're really supporting the Wish Kids of our community that are so deserving of a little bit of joy and hope and transformation in their lives through the power of a wish."