MANTUA, Ohio—Scott Snyder loves the holidays, and this year, he and his wife, Trish, want to give back to the children of our fallen heroes.
"When you hear the stories of these tragedies, your heart just breaks," she said. "Children just don't have any way to deal with the situation, so we thought what a wonderful way to show that our nation cares about their hero."
The couple started a custom rocking-horse business, Trott Wood Creations, two years ago. They started with one horse. They design the concepts together, with Scott doing the woodwork and Trish decorating each one.
Now, the two are donating their creations to their charity, Heroes Rock.
"For every $500 donation made, up to 500 donations, we will be giving an entry to win a rocker, a Trott Wood Creations rocker," Trish said.
The couple is just 375 donations shy of their Christmas goal.
"The money raised from this contest will make the rocker for the winner and it'll probably make two more for fallen heroes," Scott said. "We don't do this to make a living. We do this to make a difference, and it's really important to us."
So on top of their full-time jobs, Trish and Scott spend about every day of the week in their workshop. Some of the rockers can take up to 300 hours to make, but Trish said it's worth it. They just want to give back to the children of local fallen heroes.
The current contest will benefit the family of Chief Warrant Officer Christopher Thibodeau of Chesterland. The Army helicopter pilot died in Afghanistan this may. Days before, Thibodeau learned he had a baby on the way.
"In that short week, he already discussed with his wife about making his child a rocker," Scott said. "So we're designing right now, it's in the designing stages right now, an Apache helicopter rocker."
So through this contest, the two are helping make Thibodeau's wish come true, to give his soon-to-be-baby-boy this spring.
"We knew we were doing the right thing," Trish said. "Just absolutely knew this was what we're supposed to do. They're made out of love. We have a ball. We just enjoy every minute of it.