Note – The following message is from AAW Board Member Tom Wirsing
I’ve often heard it said that the AAW is like a big family.
I began turning wood at the age of about 13 in my father’s basement workshop. And I turned wood off and on over the next 40 years, but my skills did not improve much. Then someone told me about the AAW chapter in Denver. I joined, and it didn’t take long before members of the chapter were showing me all kinds of things I had never imagined. They welcomed me into their family, and they treated me like a long-lost cousin. I was in heaven. I soon joined the AAW and discovered that there was an even bigger family, a huge family with many thousands of members around the world, and like the members of the Denver chapter, everyone treated me like family. Again I found myself in heaven and I found that Saint Peter had welcomed thousands like me to enter the pearly gates of woodturning.
Since joining the AAW, I’ve served as a chapter president, as a member of the AAW Board of Directors, and two years as president of the AAW. I’ve found that the more I contribute to the woodturning family, the closer my relationship becomes. And now I count my AAW family among my closest friends.
One of the things I’ve enjoyed most is the opportunity to visit members of the family in many places in the USA and around the world. I’ve visited chapters from Connecticut to California. I’ve demonstrated at symposiums from Utah to Australia. I’ve stayed in the homes of friends from such far-flung places as Ireland and South Africa. And I’ve been treated like a member of the family everywhere I’ve been. The AAW is truly a wonderful family.
It surprises me how many woodturners are not AAW members. They lose so much by not joining the family. I encourage all of you to invite anyone you know who enjoys turning wood but is not an AAW member to join. Explain to them what they are missing by not joining the family. And when they join, I promise they will be glad they did.
With warm regards,