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Custom Cards Chair Supports Shriners

Custom Cards Chair Supports Shriners

Crafting custom parts and pieces is what our precision machining students do, but a recent project in support of our local Shriners organization provided an opportunity to create something really special.

Shriner Dave Hope, firefighting and EMT instructor, was recently working on the YoWay 250 Night at the Races event which raises funds to support Shriner yellow parade cars and gateway race cars. He had acquired a donation that he knew had the potential to be a big hit during the event raffle.  Former Cardinals pitcher John Tudor had donated a Busch Stadium seat chair and back that had been signed by 25 Cardinals players. “It came unassembled,” said Hope, but he knew our instructors and students could put it back together.

Hope asked Bob Arcipowski from Precision Machining to assist and the project took off from there.  Arcipowski worked on a concept for the project which went far beyond a typical reassembly. He envisioned baseball bats as side braces and a home plate as the foundation. Senior Nick Hufker then determined the exact measurements for a regulation home plate, designed the piece in CAD, and machined all of the steel plates needed. “I really used a lot of the skills that I had learned last year,” said Hufker. Four more South Tech students assisted in the home plate fabrication: Aldin Zeneli from Precision Machining assisted Hufker, Thomas Holtkamp from Welding put together home plate, and Hasani Eskridge and Tyler Hemmelgarn from Auto Collision Repair did all of the painting. Hufker then helped calculate the measurements to determine the chairs final height so it would sit properly and assisted Arcipowski with the final assembly.

“People couldn’t believe it, the way the kids put it together blew away expectations,” Hope said of the response to the finished product. “John Tudor was impressed,” he said, noting that the chair raised $600 on its own.

“Sharing that experience with my students was awesome,” said Arcipowski. He really enjoyed working on another project that would directly benefit our community. Hufker agreed, “It was great to work on something not for personal money, but just for helping kids.”

Applications are now being accepted for all programs, including Precision Machining. Visit the programs page to learn more:

South Tech High School

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