For the last 10 years, residents of Strawberry Ridge Adult Community in Valrico have hosted a garage sale to raise funds for their Woodworkers Club to make toys for children in need. This year’s event, scheduled for Saturday, April 21, promises to be better than ever.

According to resident and Woodworkers Club member Steve Hurley, most of the 860 homes in the community contribute to the sale which is held at the community clubhouse.

“Our garage sale is an all year process,” said Hurley. “As people move in and out of the community they often call the woodshed to offer up items that are too good to throw away but not needed. We pick up items and store them all year.”

The woodworkers do all of the set up, run the sale and give any leftovers to local not-for-profit service agencies. This year the Salvation Army will supply a trailer for any items that do not sell.

“Each sale has the usual household items of dishes, bedding, books, movies, CDs, tools, Christmas decorations and some small furniture,” said Hurley. “The most unusual item I have seen in the seven years I have been involved was a toilet. It was new in a box, but who would expect to find that at a garage sale?”

The woodworkers use the money from the sale to buy supplies needed to build wooden toys and purchase toys for local children in need.

According to Hurley, the club averages about 50 members who are homeowners and residents of the park.

“The purpose of the club is for lifelong as well as novice woodworkers who downsize their homes and give up the garage shop they had and now have no room to store tools or to construct projects,” said Hurley. “We have a complete shop with all the tools needed to complete most any project desired and also have tools for members to sign out to do basic home improvement projects in their homes.”

The group also recently began classes for novice members to learn about tools, shop safety and simple home repairs, recently built a podium for the community club house and members are currently in the process of rebuilding the framework of a pool table in the activities center.

Toys constructed for the Christmas Toy Program, according to Hurley, range from simple pull toys to crayon boxes with crayons and coloring books, keepsake boxes for personal belongings, doll cradles with dolls and bedding, child rocking chairs, fully furnished elaborate doll houses and trucks.

The club votes every year on where to donate the toys and past recipients include migrant worker day care centers, church toy drives and other not-for-profit faith-based services.
The sale will take place on April 21 from 8-11:30 a.m. in the Clubhouse on Activities Lane in Strawberry Ridge Adult Community.

The main entrance to the community is directly off SR 60 between Mulrenenn and Dover Rds. For more information, call Hurley at (518) 423-6952.

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Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.