St. George diner, chainsaw sculptor come together to help local animal shelter

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ST. GEORGE, Utah -– A local animal shelter is getting some help, thanks to a diner and a chainsaw wielding artist.

On Monday chainsaw sculptor Ray Schulz carved bears out of logs in the parking lot of the Black Bear Diner. Schulz is the official bear carver, and has created over 200 bears. But he says the process typically go fast.

“Usually if you’re watching it happen, the cool part of it, where it takes shape happens in about an hour, hour and a half,” Schulz said.

The show is part of the Chainsaw for Change tour. Schulz is creating wooden bears for diners in seven different cities across the west, one for each diner -- the offer raffled off for charity.

“It’s fun, it’s different,” Schulz said about the tour. “There are a lot of other ways people promote the different charities, but this is a little bit different and right up the Black Bear Diner alley with the bears.”

Each diner owner selects their own cause to support -- the local Black Bear chose P.A.W.S, an animal rescue and shelter group.

Directors say those funds will go a long way, toward their goal of no more homeless pets.

“It’s almost a year that we started,” said P.A.W.S operations director and president Lynn Burger. “And with the St. George shelter and making some changes up there, it’s been very, very successful.”

Reaction to the carving is equally enthusiastic. Several restaurant goers stopped to watch. Chainsaw sculptors aren’t common, so for some it’s the first time seeing the tool create art.

“Its amazing how they can do all that just with the tools that they have,” said spectator Rhocki Bowler. "I can barely cut a log, let alone make something out of it.”

Schulz said it takes about three hours to complete a bear sculpture, and although it gets hot in the St. George sun, the cause makes it all worth it.

More information on P.A.W.S can be found on their website, here: http://dixiepaws.org/about-2/