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Wood + Candy = Rooms That Rock Sweetly

Woodcraft Tech Shelve RoomsThatRock4Chemo

Wood + Candy = Rooms That Rock Sweetly

Woodcraft Tech Shelve RoomsThatRock4Chemo

by frank | on October 4th, 2012 |

DebbieJoelBeing aware of our surroundings, especially when going through tough times, sometimes turns into an idea to help someone else. In this case Debbie Stout transformed her ideas into reality through a project assisted by a couple of teams, resulting in helping many people deal with a bad situation. That situation is Cancer, chemotherapy to be specific, which touches hundreds of thousands of people in one way or another in their lifetime. Debbie lost her husband Joel to colon cancer in 2006 at the very young age of 45. Joel was an avid woodworker, learning from his father Henry, who taught woodshop for the Washington County Career Center.

“It’s people and woodworkers like these that tie Woodcraft to the community.”  Betty Secrist

 According to Parkersburg, WV Woodcraft Manager, Betty Secrist, “Joel was a widely known, highly respected home builder. Joel’s dad, Henry, was a daily user of the Woodcraft Woodworker’s Club after retiring from the career center.” Betty also stated, “It’s people and woodworkers like these that tie Woodcraft to the community; it’s such a small world and woodworking plays a huge part in it.” Joel was also 2002 Home Builder Association Builder of the Year for the Parkersburg area. He served as the HBA President for 1 year, also First Vice President of the West Virginia HBA and represented the state of WV on the National Home Builders Board of Directors. An HBA Memorial Scholarship Fund has been created in his honor. Debbie stated, “In our construction business, Joel had every possible woodworking tool imaginable and loved Woodcraft.” Since then Debbie recently lost her dad Walter, to multiple myeloma.

“The patients are overjoyed and touched that people they do not know, thought about them, and I am grateful to everyone for their donations and support.”…Debbie Stout

Debbie is the reason we have this story. Debbie said, “I believe in karma and paying it forward and I have worked at getting a Hospice House here in Parkersburg, WV until the economy declined.”Running into a high school acquaintance, Amy Ocasio, gave Debbie the opportunity she was looking for. Amy is the East coast director for Rooms That Rock 4 Chemo (RTR4C) organization, who just happened to be meeting with Nancy Ballard, Founder of RTR4C and West coast director. RTR4C’s mission statement says,

RoomsThatRock4Chemo is a nonprofit organization devoted to creating positive, healing, lovely and uplifting spaces that spiritually, emotionally, and physically support those dealing with challenges to their health. By transforming unimaginative often sterile spaces into vibrant, warm and peaceful environments in collaboration with interior designers, local vendors and facilities that provide treatment, this work of love, compassion and creativity brings the comfort of beauty, peace, and caring to those suffering thus making a real difference in their lives as well as their families and all those involved with their care.

DSCN2668a1-1024x741Anyone who has gone through a chemo process personally or with a loved one knows how harsh it can be. This organization tries to make it a little more comforting in the surroundings by remodeling old style “medical feel” rooms into personal home style quarters.

After learning all about RTR4C with Amy and Nancy, Debbie declared, “I’m in.” In dedication to Joel, Debbie became Joel’s room sponsor and the team captain, remodeling one of the nine rooms which were to be reformed at Camden Clark Medical Center. Each room had a sponsor and a team captain. The team captain was the organizer for that particular room making sure everything was taken care of and completed. During a meeting regarding the remodel of these rooms, they spoke of candy dishes (donated by Libbey Glass), and where they were going to get shelves to place the candy dishes. Debbie decided to take the candy jar (filled with candy) to her neighbor, who’s son just happened to work for Woodcraft.

DSCN2504a-300x243Warehouse Manager, Mike Townsend was asked if they could make 9 shelves, one for each of these rooms. Mike agreed and took the candy jar to the Tech guys, Bob Poling, Sam Murner, and Kyle Meyer. These are the guys who answer all customer technical questions every day. They know the products and woodworking inside out. Maybe the candy bribed them a little, but it was their own connections with cancer that they were “all-in” with this project. Accommodating the jar size, the Woodcraft team used a simple wall shelf plan out of Oak wood and finished with General Finishes Enduro-var Gloss Top Coat.

One thing led to another, word spread to others within the company and Woodcraft also donated $500 to the cause. The team completed the shelves in 2 weeks time, and are now hanging in each of the 9 chemo rooms at Camden.


Debbie stated, “The patients are overjoyed and touched that people they do not know, thought about them, and I am grateful to everyone for their donations and support.”

All artwork was donated by local artists…

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 10.30.02 PM

Sherwin Williams of Parkersburg donated paint and all painting supplies.

Autumn Moore from Paradise Grill held a fundraiser for RTR4C, and also sponsored/redesigned a room in honor and remembrance of her husband Tim.

A special thank you from Debbie to her employer Jim Stealey and The Stealey Law Firm, PLLC for his generosity and assistance to the RTR4C organization. Jim came to all the fundraiser’s, helped Debbie raise donations, personally donated to the cause, helped paint the rooms, and hung the Woodcraft shelves!

New hospital floors were donated by Camden Clark.


BB&T Bank donated funds to reconstruct the conference room.


An additional $2000 for each room was needed to supply costs for room TV’s, waiting area TV’s, family member chairs and framed artwork.


And after all was said and done, Debbie and the RTR4C Team visited our tech guys at Woodcraft to personally thank them for a job well done.



Left to right: Kyle Meyer, Debbie Stout, Sam Murner, Nancy Ballard, Mario Ballard Sr., Bob Poling, Mike Townsend and Amy Haddox Ocasio.

Thanks to everyone for Helping Everyone Make Wood (and so much more) Work!

auf Wiedersehen…Frank



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