Category 7: For the Good of Others


  Sawyer: Ed Merzenich
Location: Salem, OR
Equipment: LT70

Project Dimensions: 3,750 sq ft 
50% of lumber cut on the mill: 8,100 BF
Estimated Savings:
$26,000 on lumber
Wood Species Used: 
Douglas fir, western red cedar, figured maple
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GRAND CHAMPION - They Needed a Community Hall...

The story of how the Baxter Hill Community Hall was built is truly a story of local people coming together to meet a local need. The project started out with the need for restrooms for a proposed sports field on 11 acres that had been donated to the community by members of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Salem, Oregon. But as options and other needs were considered, the project grew to a 175 person capacity, 3,750 square foot meeting hall, that included a kitchen, office, conference and storage rooms. The project met with enthusiastic community support, and received endorsements from the Salem mayor, a senator, and a representative.

Both the indoor and outdoor meeting areas have fireplaces for chilly nights and picnic tables accommodate outdoor events. The building provides a much needed meeting place for sports teams, business groups, scouting activities and community organizations. The hall sits right next to a soccer/softball field, making it a perfect gathering place for people to come and enjoy together.

The groundbreaking for the new hall took place in 2007, and the Baxter Hill Community Hall project took two years to complete. Most of the labor and much of the materials required to build it were donated by local individuals and businesses. Ed Merzenich, a local dentist and sawmill owner, was involved in the project from conception to completion. He donated time and lumber to complete the Douglas fir ceilings, western red cedar interior walls, and figured maple interior trim. He also helped out with the design and reaching out to the community to raise support and bring in volunteers to keep the work moving forward.

Ed had the help of a Wood-Mizer twin blade edger to speed up lumber production and to accurately cut material into 4”-12” widths. Now that the project is finished, and the Community Hall is open for reservations and local use, Ed has this to say about his feelings on the completed project: “A great deal of pride and satisfaction – milling and donation of all interior woods – a result more beautiful than anticipated. Everyone that sees it is totally overwhelmed with the simplicity and beauty of the project and the wood used.”








  Sawyer: Lynn Davis
Location: Brookhaven, MS
Equipment: LT40 Super

Project Dimensions: 36’ X 24’ 
90% of lumber cut on the mill: 8,700+ BF
Estimated Savings: $5,000
Wood Species Used: 
southern yellow pine, oak, cedar, poplar
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FIRST PLACE - "Together We Build!"

When Lynn Davis noticed that the only storage space available to the church music minister was a small shed, Lynn challenged the church membership that they could do something about it. He proposed that they could build the new building without any expenditure from the church budget. He put his faith into action, and pledged to secure, saw, and donate all the lumber required for the building – everything from floor joists to the interior walls, trim, and floor.

Lynn’s zeal for the project spread, and others volunteered time, money, and materials to complete the project. “Together We Build” was the motto
taken up by Macedonia Baptist Church as they came together to build a carport and storage building. The project took about 4 months to build. They always had a good sized crew of workers and ladies who helped out with food and refreshments. Lynn says, “There was never a need or time spent waiting for materials. When the building was completed and dedicated three months later, we all knew in our hearts that we had done well.”

“Having a Wood-Mizer sawmill, I knew that the total cost of the building would be minimized and I also had faith in the church
membership.” That faith paid off. The music minister is using the building as storage, a workshop, a study, and the carport houses his pickup and provides space for smoking roasts and ribs for church events. Lynn says “He often brings me some smoked meat.”

Lynn has owned his LT40 Super Hydraulic for ten years, and runs a successful custom sawing business called ‘Knothole Sawmill.’ He shows up as a regular contributor on the online Forestry Forum as ‘Magicman’, where he is a source of encouragement and advice to fellow sawyers.








Sawyer: Grant Newbold
Location: Minden, NE
Equipment: LT30

100% of lumber cut on the mill
Estimated Savings: "Thousands"
Wood Species Used: red cedar, mulberry, elm, hackberry, cottonwood
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HONORABLE MENTION - Birds and Boy Scouts

The Rowe Bird Sanctuary raises a large portion of their income from guided tours to observe the annual migrations of millions of waterfowl and sandhill cranes. A 150’ fence was needed so that disabled and/or elderly visitors could join these tours without disturbing roosting waterfowl. Sawmill owner Grant Newbold designed a fence that would blend into the surroundings, and joined together with local Boy Scout, Adam Prochaska, who decided to make this his Eagle Scout project. Many other volunteers got involved, and now after hundreds of hours of hard work, everyone who visits the sanctuary can enjoy the tours.

Bill Taddicken, manager of the Rowe Sanctuary, remarks, “The donation of time, materials and labor by Grant and the Boy Scouts made it all possible. If this fence had been made with commercially available materials, it… would have consumed a large amount of our limited funds... This rustic fence blends in perfectly with its surroundings and has created an aesthetically pleasing visual barrier… We are indebted to the Boy Scouts and Grant Newbold and his Wood-Mizer sawmill for making this important contribution to our sanctuary and our mission.”