The Gentile Gallery was filled with students and professors Feb. 22 at 9 p.m. for a competitive event hosted by Men’s Ministry, where teams of students, each led by a member of faculty or staff, assembled wooden toolboxes.
Daniel Cordes, who works with Men’s Ministry, opened the event with a prayer and welcomed the men to the event.
Cordes said, “We’re trying to … have the professors be mentors to the guys, … getting to know them on a daily basis.”
The men split into four teams, each led by a core member, and began work on assembling wooden toolboxes, which would be judged upon completion.
The teams were led by Bob Lesnefsky, head of evangelization on campus; Petroc Willey, who holds a doctorate in moral theology; James Gaston, who holds a master’s in history; and Stephen Hildebrand, who holds a doctorate in historical theology.
Teams were supplied with the supplies necessary to build toolboxes: wood, screws, hammers, sandpaper and wood glue. As the teams set to work, Cordes said that the team who crafted the best toolbox would win pizza as their prize.
Hammers rang and sawdust filled the air as the men worked on their boxes. Lesnefsky’s group struck up a conversation about movies as they sanded the wood. Lesnefsky broke away from the group and checked out the competition, a practice that others joined in.
The group led by Hildebrand raided the supplies at a vacant table and completed two full toolboxes. The team decided to nail their two toolboxes together, creating what one team member said was a “double decker tool box.”
Willey welcomed all who passed by and praised his team’s merits.
“This team has endurance, enthusiasm, skill, the ability to correct mistakes,” Willey said.
Willey also shared stories of his family and his life prior to Franciscan.
With 10 minutes left in the competition, a loud noise was heard from Gaston’s team. A loose nail had wreaked havoc on their nearly completed toolbox. Gaston stepped in to show his team how to fix the nail by adding more to support the wood against its grain.
When time ran out, the toolboxes were brought to a table for judging by Cordes. After knocking on the wood and sniffing some of the boxes, Cordes declared Hildebrand’s team to be the winner. As they left the event, the winning team members signed their toolbox.
Junior Nathan Ware said he enjoyed the night and got “to know men who we really aspire to be when we grow older.”