Winberg's True Value gets all dolled up for diabetes research

Dec 4, 2023

LAKEVILLE – Rich Adey has been crafting hand-made dollhouses for around 40 years. 

"I always wanted to build a real home, but I never did," said Adey. "On the miniature scale, I can handle that, so that's what I enjoy doing."

Adey's talent for working in miniature can make a large impact. This holiday season, he's using that talent to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation by raffling off one of his creations, a light-colored, three story dollhouse with a covered porch and high ceilings. 

Adey said his dollhouse hobby started "back when I was a young guy," when he made one for a friend. 

He stopped doing it for a while, then got back into the practice after he retired in 2020. 

In recent years, Adey has made dollhouses for his family and to sell. Some of the latter have been custom-made replicas of customers' houses, Adey said. 

The dollhouses are all made from scratch, with Adey doing the woodworking in his personal shop. While some of the house's furnishings come ready-made, including more intricate pieces like the doors and the windows, Adey makes most of the wooden pieces himself, including the delicate siding pieces and flooring planks. 

Even Adey’s family gets involved with his hobby. His grandchildren come up to the shop every once in a while to help with the painting, he said. 

It's also one of his grandchildren who inspired his most recent raffle donation. 

In April, Adey's seven-year-old granddaughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. 

"She's a little trooper," Adey said. 

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a global organization funding Type 1 diabetes research, has been helpful to the family since her diagnosis, he said. "We thought it would be a nice idea to do something for the holidays" to support them.

To that end, one of Adey's dollhouses will be raffled off, with the proceeds going to the foundation. 

It is currently on display at Winberg's True Value, 352 Bedford Street, Lakeville. Raffle tickets are $5, and the drawing will be held on Friday, Dec. 22. 

This isn’t the first time Adey has made a donation out of a dollhouse. Previously he's made donations to the Nicole Dondero Memorial Fund, a local non-profit honoring the memory of a woman killed in 2019, as well as the Jordan Shay Memorial Foundation, a grant and scholarship fund in honor of a soldier killed during his second deployment to Iraq. 

And this dollhouse won’t be his last. 

"I'll keep doing it for a while, as long as my hands are able to handle the small pieces," Adey said.