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Fox Run residents craft toy cars for underprivileged kids

Created date

November 24th, 2015
Don Bouffard (left) and Casey Rost (right) with wooden toy cars they are donating to Toys for Tots.
Don Bouffard (left) and Casey Rost (right)

Grandparents love delighting their grandchildren with new toys at Christmastime. Unfortunately, many underprivileged kids don’t have family to spoil them. That’s why two generous grandfathers who live at Fox Run in Novi, Mich., are using their woodworking skills to make sure hundreds of less fortunate children have a good holiday, too.

Casey Rost and Don Boufford teamed up to make about 200 wooden toy cars to donate to Toys for Tots. The cars benefit kids in the Detroit area. Fox Run received a request from Toys for Tots for toy donations last year, and Don and Casey made about 50 cars. They decided to expand the project this year and made four times as many cars. 

“Every youngster loves to have something with wheels,” Don says.

Divide and conquer

Over the last several months, Casey and Don have each logged about 25 hours crafting the toy cars in Fox Run’s hobby shop, which is stocked with a variety of woodworking supplies and equipment. Casey and Don divided and conquered to build all of the cars. Don sawed the patterns, and Casey handled the detail work.

“We have a beautiful shop here, so the sanding and finishing of the cars wasn’t too much of a job for me,” Casey says. “And they went to a good cause.”

Don has been a woodworker since he was in grade school. He continued to work on woodworking projects while he and his wife raised nine children. The family moved a lot because of Don’s job, and he says he would build porches on the back of each of their houses. 

“I worked for Ford for 36 years, and I would come home and do a little woodwork. It was almost like therapy for me,” he says.

Extended family

Don moved to Fox Run about ten years ago with his late wife. He has a Lancaster-style apartment home, which has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a sunroom. The spare bedroom is perfect for overnight visits from Don’s large family, which now includes 11 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren, many of whom live on the West Coast.

“It’s more room than I need, but when the children come to visit, I have a place for them to stay,” he says.

With his big family spread out all over the country, Don travels to see them as often as he can. In the fall, for example, he went to Kansas City for his granddaughter’s wedding.

In addition to serving as the treasurer of the hobby shop, Don has served on a number of resident-run committees, including general services, conservation, philanthropy, and finance. He also served on the Resident Advisory Council for six years, two of which as head of the important resident group.

“Then, of course, I keep my eyes and ears open and get my nose where it shouldn’t be,” he jokes. “I like to try to keep things running efficiently around here.”

Like Don, Casey has been a woodworker since he was a young boy. He is now 97 years old and remains vibrant, active, and involved at Fox Run.

Casey moved to Fox Run about eight years ago from Detroit. He also has a large family, including 3 children, 6 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren. During his working years, Casey ran a successful funeral home, a business that he has now passed down to his son and grandson.

“I worked hard all of my life, and I watched my weight and watched my health,” he says of his longevity. “So it paid off for me.”