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.”