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30 Year Anniversary Chapter Profiles: Pikes Peak Woodturners
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Chapter: Pikes Peak Woodturners

Founded: March 10, 1988

Chapter Anniversary Profiles:
Pikes Peak Woodturners

Area Served: Colorado Springs, CO
First President: Dick Breckon
Current President: Victor Vickers
Founded: March 10, 1988

What motivated the founders to start a chapter?
It’s fair to say that Pikes Peak Woodturners gained traction in 1987-89 because of Lee Carter’s industrial arts program at Colorado State University. Founder Dick Breckon owned a construction business, secretary Bill Lehman was a carpenter, and first treasurer Jerry Switzer was an arborist, but the first safety officer, Dennis Korth, was a graduate of Carter’s program and taught industrial arts at Manitou Springs High School. Korth found the others through Mike Gombert’s business, Colorado Woodworkers Supply. Then, they all found the AAW and the club joined in the revival of woodturning in the USA.  

How many people joined the new chapter?
There were 34 original members.

Who were the founders?
Dick Jones was one founder. He had purchased a Shopsmith and taken a turning class in their store in Aurora. Dick Breckon urged him to get a General lathe and showed him how to use a waste block to replace gluing felt over screw holes in the bottom of his work. Changes in woodturning came rapidly, thanks to Lee Carter. As early as 1988, Dennis Korth was demonstrating the turning of alabaster to the club members in Colorado Springs.

Where was the first meeting held?

The chapter met in various locations, including Dick Breckon’s business location and the Woodworkers Supply Store. Plus, Dennis Korth provided evening classes at the Manitou Springs High School shop. Members came from Pueblo and even western Kansas.

How much were the dues?
Dues were $12.

Are there any original members still involved with the chapter?
Dennis Korth, Dick Breckon, and Dick Jones still attend club meetings. Continuity is a big strength of the chapter and most of our past presidents still actively helping out. Korth’s favorite part of the meeting is the Instant Gallery, especially if it includes a President’s Challenge like “My First Bowl,” which gives novice members a lot of encouragement.

What are some of the favorite memories of the chapter?
The chapter has been visited by an astonishing cast of international demonstrators, thanks to the connection with Colorado State University and the Utah Woodturning Symposium. The AAW connection has helped keep the club in touch with new techniques in the field.
~ Submitted by Kay Liggett

In the thirty weeks leading up to AAW's 30th Anniversary Symposium in Atlanta, we will be sharing the stories of members and chapters who joined in 1986 and are still with us today. We hope you enjoy their memories and insights!  

  • Click here to view profiles online. 





Click here to read more AAW 30 year anniversary member and chapter profiles.

American Association of Woodturners
222 Landmark Center, 75 5th St W, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102
651 484-9094 | www.woodturner.org


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