BALLSTON SPA – The holiday season is a time where local students sell wreaths, poinsettias or even wrapping paper to fundraise for their favorite sports or clubs. This year, for the second year in a row, one local soccer player is selling a more unique item – handmade, wooden cutting boards.
What started out as a hobby for 14-year-old Morgan Relyea and her father has turned into a way to help support Relyea’s extra-curricular
activities. The two team up when they’re not busy with work or school and make unique, wooden cutting boards to sell during the holidays.
“My father and I have been making them for a while now,” said Relyea. “He’s a cabinet maker, so we have the wood available to us and we only have to buy a few different types to make the cutting boards prettier. He has all of the resources, so it’s been father-daughter bonding.”
Relyea, a ninth grade student at Ballston Spa High School, plays center defense for the Albany Alleycats, a soccer club based in the Capital Region. This spring, some members of the club will travel to Barcelona, Spain for one week. There, the athletes will have the opportunity to play against other teams, watch at least one professional game, and do some sightseeing. For Relyea, it’s a trip of a lifetime and her cutting boards will hopefully help get her there.
“We’ll play a couple of games and do some training,” said Relyea. “I’ve been playing soccer since I was four or five and I’ve been with the Alleycats for three years. Soccer is a way to cope with things and let your emotions out along with exercising; and most of my friends play soccer as well, so it’s a good way to meet people.”
This isn’t the first time Relyea’s cutting boards have helped her out. Last year, she sold several of them and put the proceeds towards a trip to Australia as part of the “People to People Ambassador Program,” an organization that has provided educational travel for students across the globe for the last 50 years. Through the program, students visit schools, experience homestays, absorb world culture, explore and even meet with government experts. Students even have the opportunity to earn credit toward their high school diplomas.
“It [Australia] was amazing! It was more about the culture and we went on a lot of adventures, which I liked,” said Relyea. “It was three weeks in Australia and students across New York State go together, but the program runs throughout the country.”
Relyea and her parents sell their cutting boards at local craft fairs and through email.
“People have been saying they make good Christmas gifts. I think they’re really pretty, but maybe I’m biased,” laughed Relyea. “People who’ve bought them told us they didn’t want to cut on them because they’re pretty. They also make good housewarming gifts or bridal shower gifts. It seems like everyone has appreciated them.”
The Relyeas offer cutting boards in two sizes – small for $25 and large for $30 to $35. Since every cutting board is unique, sizing dimensions vary. If you’re interested in purchasing a cutting board, email Morgan’s mom, Jean Relyea, at [email protected] for more information or to place your order.
What do you think of Morgan’s entrepreneurial spirit? Will you be purchasing a cutting board from her this holiday season? Join the conversation by signing in and commenting below! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest community news and events.