Pedal to the Metal!

Resident metal shop at Friendship Village has sparks flying for all the right reasons

When you think of senior living, sparks flying in a metal shop might be the furthest thing from your mind. If that’s the case, a visit to Friendship Village Tempe might be in order.

Resident Phil Lentz says it all began with a 90 square foot area.

“We had residents who wished they could still weld,” Lentz said. “That’s when Fred Scharringhausen, one of my fellow welders, jumped in and made it happen.”

Lentz says Scharringhausen, who repaired vehicles for CAT during his working days, made the case to Friendship Village leadership and the metal shop was born.

“There isn’t a day that goes by when you won’t find someone in the shop welding and creating,” said Lentz. “Fred really built us a beautiful shop through his work with the leadership team here.”

From welding to cutting, forming and machining, the residents of Friendship Village have all they need to keep their passion for metal work alive.

Executive director Cole Marvin said it’s par for the course at the community.

“If our residents have a hobby they want to learn or continue to pursue, we do all we can to make it possible,” he said. “The metal shop is just one great example of that.”

If you’d like to drop by Friendship Village to do a story on the senior-run metal shop, contact me, Jeff Bell, at (913) 787-5512 or