CT Checkup: Farmington business owner uses chainsaw carving to give back to frontline workers with ‘Tiki Task Force’ project

Hartford

FARMINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed business throughout the country. One Farmington business owner is using this unusual time to give back to healthcare workers with a creative hobby.

For Sean Gorman, of Farmington, the pandemic showed business for his design company so he decided to use his newfound time off to try something new: chainsaw carving. 

“The idea being to carve a tiki statue with a chainsaw, sell it locally and then use that money to buy lunches for healthcare workers,” he said. 

Gorman had never used a chainsaw before, let alone to carve statues. But, he always wanted to give it a try and figured now was as good a time as any. 

Hence the ‘Tiki Task Force’ was born. With the help of his family, Gorman put his idea to work and was surprised by the community support. 

“People are really loving it, they see the value in it, they appreciate our healthcare workers,” he said.

So why tikis? Gorman found videos online of other carvers making the design and liked the idea. He explained, though, that there’s another reason. 

“They represent a lot of things,” he said. “Everything from warding off evil to bringing health and prosperity and fertility.” 

Things he says we need now more than ever.

So far he’s sold over 30 tikis, each for around $150, which has funded hundreds of meals to local hospitals and now, even food pantries and nursing homes. 

“It feels amazing,” said Senan Gorman Jr, who helps his father with the project. “I didn’t expect this to come this far.”

The task force is booked up for the next month with orders, and with work starting back up for Gorman, tiki production will have to slow down a bit. 

He says he only hopes that others will pick up a chainsaw and join in on the movement in their own communities. 

“If they could do one or two or five and donate that money either to local food pantries or healthcare workers on the front lines,” he said. “That would be pretty neat.”  

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