News Release

Published on Monday, February 21, 2005

LA CROSSE, Wis. - Western Wisconsin Technical College's Wood Tech Program students are holding a unique annual fundraising raffle with prizes that include clocks, many of which were created in the classroom. Throughout the years, the students have built clocks in many different and distinctive styles including some that run backward or tell military time. A step-away from the student's usual cabinetry curriculum, building the grand prize grandfather clock allows them to use their creative talents.
"There is more detail in the grandfather clock then in general cabinetry," states Terry Schaefer, Wood Tech instructor. "The clocks that the students build are more of a high-end piece of furniture then just a clock." While students design and build most of the clocks from scratch, some are created from clock kits and include movement pieces from clock supply sources.
Prizes in this year’s raffle include the grandfather clock, as well as a mantel clock, several “mystery” clocks, a walnut slab clock, and a "timeless" autographed copy of “Catcher in the Wry,” baseball player Bob Uecker’s 1988 autobiography. Another raffle item, the Milton “Burl” clock, gets its name from the wood used to make it - cherry burl - and illustrates the unique names that the clocks receive each year.
Ansel Harem, a retired Wood Tech Program instructor and skilled grandfather clock maker, started the raffle as a fundraiser in 1985. The students were using other fundraisers like selling popcorn, washing cars, and running bingo games, but the most successful was the grandfather clock raffle; it remains as the only fundraiser for the Wood Tech Program students.
Last year the raffle raised over $3,000, which was used to send Wood Tech students involved in the Skills USA Club to state and national competitions. Twelve WWTC students went to state and one to national competition. Schaefer hopes this year’s funds will send even more competitors in the area of cabinet making or carpentry to the state competition in April and fund students who earn a spot in the national competition in June. If WWTC students keep up their performances as in past competitions, the outlook is good - WWTC students have been winners in state, national or both competitions for the past 10 years.
Raffle tickets are available to the public and can be purchased for $1 each or six for $5 from the Wood Tech department by calling 608-785-9435. The drawing will be held on Feb. 28 and winners will be notified by phone.
For more information about WWTC programs and services, please call 608-785-9200 or visit the WWTC Web site at wwtc.edu.