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Massachusetts guild seeks entries for scholarships

The Berkshire Woodworkers Guild is accepting scholarship applications from students pursuing a career in woodworking or architecture. The guild, a group of professional woodworkers who live and work in the vicinity of Berkshire County in western Massachusetts, will be giving away two $500 scholarships. Although the amount isn’t terribly high, every little bit counts, according to guild president Will Beemer.

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“Each year we raise money for the scholarship fund through a silent auction that we have at our annual show at the Berkshire Botanical Garden every July. Everyone makes an item for the silent auction and all the money goes into the scholarship fund. This year we have $1,000 total to divide up and give away,” Beemer says.

“The applicants must be under 25 and they need to be pursuing a course of study in either woodworking, architecture or a related field. Last year, they were awarded to a woman who was taking a summer’s worth of courses at Taconic High School in Pittsfield, Mass., and another in preservation carpentry at the North Bennet St. School in Boston.

“We’re also trying to encourage people to support the schools themselves. They may pay $5,000 to $10,000 a year for an eight-month program and our goal is to help then alleviate that financial burden. It’s also something that might make students aware that there are careers in woodworking.”

Preference is given to applicants from the Berkshire County and the neighboring region enrolled in a long-term continuous program that leads to certification or a degree. The application deadline is April 1. 

Contact: Berkshire Woodworkers Guild. Tel: 413-623-6677.

This article originally appeared in the March 2014 issue.

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