Vern Heinle and his wooden toys. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporteer

Toymaker to distribute gifts t0 children

For nine years, Vern Heinle has carved and shaped wood into durable, practical toys reminiscent of yesterday to distribute to underprivileged children of today through the Forgotten Children’s Fund, a nonprofit organization.

Heinle, Kent’s modern day Mister Geppetto, distributes more than 200 of his hand-crafted toys – trucks, tanks, race cars, helicopters and airplanes – to children 12 and under on Saturday, Dec. 17, from 9 a.m. to noon, at Shari’s restaurant, 12990 SE Kent-Kangley Road.

The holiday toymaking adventure keeps the retired carpenter tinkering in his spacious, well-equipped workshop that sits next to his East Hill home.

“I enjoy it, I really do,” said the 83-year-old Heinle. “It actually makes me feel good to provide something to people who otherwise would not have it.”

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