Topeka, Kan. – The North Pole moves south for the ninth annual Toys for Tots Toy Build at Washburn University Institute of Technology (Washburn Tech) 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2. Toy builders will converge on the Auto Refinishing & Collision Lab in Building K at 5724 SW Huntoon St.

The event involves students, instructors, staff and community volunteers who cut, assemble and paint homemade wooden toys for area children in need. Projects include step stools, hobby horses, beatbox drums and yo-yos.

Volunteers not only donate their time such as the 900 hours of community service recorded at last year’s event. Money and materials are also donated by local partners such as long-time supporter Azura Credit Union which is giving $3,000 to this year’s efforts.

“Building toys with Washburn Tech is one of Azura’s favorite volunteer events year after year,” said Allyson Shove, vice president of marketing, Azura Credit Union. “Knowing the above and beyond ways that Washburn Tech gives back, we are proud to support organizations that continually fulfill community needs.”

Last year, volunteers made 1,000 toys that the Toys for Tots Foundation distributed to children in a dozen northeast Kansas counties. Washburn Tech Cabinet/Millwork instructor and Toy Build founder John Lemon says it is a labor of love.

“I have such a passion for this project and making sure that every child in our area has a gift to open on Christmas morning,” said Lemon. “Donations have been coming in more slowly than usual this year. I can’t thank Azura Credit Union enough for stepping up to make sure we have the materials and manpower needed to make some holiday wishes come true.”

For more information on helping with this year’s event or to make donations, contact Lemon at 785.670.3431 or

For further information, contact:Lori Hutchinson
Interim Director of Public Relations
Telephone: 785-670-1711 Cell: 785-224-6212
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