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Good News — May 15: Carpenters volunteer to build playground for elementary school

Published: May 14, 2017 – 10:06 PM
Members of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 285 Members Action Committee recently donated their time and skills to build a playground for the elementary branch of Summit Academy on Leland Avenue in Akron.

Click here to read the full article.

Carpenters in Lafayette are helping change lives

Sunday, May 14th 2017, 6:50 pm EDT by Kiyerra Lake

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Lafayette carpenters are offering free services to help people in the community. Those services were life-changing for one Lafayette family.

Angela McMeans has been bound to her wheelchair for seven years.

“I have a hard time getting in and out the house,” she said. “I mean, I had to wait until my husband gets off work to do anything.”

Her husband, Steve McMeans, said it would take around 30 minutes to get her out of the house, down the stairs and in the car.

He said, “It was a chore of having to pick her up, carry her and then have to come back and get the scooter.”

But now, that time has been cut down. It’s all thanks to Carpenters Local 215. They built a ramp outside the home.

Union Worker Don Brightwell said, “When we help someone like that and they show their gratitude, as they did with all the hugs and the tears and everything, it’s wonderful.”

Brightwell and his team take on community service projects for free.

He said, “If for some reason we aren’t able to do it, we can contact, ya know, get you to the right people to be able to do that.”

The crew wants to help people who may not be able to pay for their construction projects.

Steve McMeans said, “We never would have been able to afford it.”

Brightwell said, “They go for months and sometimes years struggling and we’re here to help — all you have to do is ask.”

After years of depending on her husband for help, Angela gained back her independence.

She said, “I can do about anything. If I want to look at my flowers, I can look at my flowers.”

“It’s just been a real blessing no matter how you look at it,” Steve McMeans said.

Floor Covers volunteer for Indy 500 Festival Parade

If you ever get a chance to visit the Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade during the race weekend, you may want to take notice of the carpet installation that is a city block long and on both sides of the main grandstands. For the last 15 years, Superior Carpet and union floor covers have had a long standing tradition of volunteering the installation of the carpet runs. “The guys like being part of the Indy community and part of the 500.” said Roger Berlin President of Superior Carpet. Thank you to Roger and Susie Berlin, Chad Weber, Parker Dillion, Dave “Boo” Dillion, Evan James, Kelsey Biggs, Doug Weber, Levi Setters, Josh Berlin, and Mike Judd for being a vital part of the community.

  

Carpenters assemble Valentine’s Day care packages for US Military

In preparation for the upcoming holiday, Local 200 of the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC) volunteered to assist in the assembly of Valentine’s Day care packages for military members.

Earlier this year, Brenda Bishop Young of Buckeye Military Families reached out to Local 200 regarding its third annual Operation Sharing Hearts project. The project focuses on assembling and sending 50 Valentine’s-themed care packages to service members who are deployed and stationed overseas.

In addition to presenting Buckeye Military Families with a $500 donation, five Local 200 members and their families were more than happy to assist with Operation Sharing Hearts and dedicated a Saturday and a total of 20 volunteer hours to the project. Assembled at the Local 200 office, eachcare package contained Valentine’s Day cards, candy, batteries, sports and auto magazines, toiletries and small Valentine’s Day cakes.

“I have to thank Local 200 for the use of their office – the facility was perfect for our event,” commented Bishop Young. “The help we received from their members was so awesome! They jumped in and made us feel right at home. I know this is a long-standing relationship we can look forward to in years to come.”

Michael Freeman, IKORCC Representative and Local 200 Recording Secretary and Political Advisor, commented, “We have four veterans in our Columbus office. Having served in the military, it makes me so proud to be involved with an organization that truly cares about our nation’s heroes – veterans and active duty alike. Being stationed away from family and friends can be very tough, and we know how much a small gesture like these care packages will be appreciated. They’re also a small token of our appreciation for everything our military does for our country.”

Buckeye Military Families is the Ohio chapter of Semper-Fi Sisters, which consists of individuals with a loved one who served or is currently serving in the military. Their mission is to support the families of those currently serving, the service member themselves and Ohio veterans.

Carpenters donate over 100 toys to Toys for Tots

In an ongoing effort to give back to the community, Local 1005 of the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC) collected and donated toys to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program this past holiday season.

The Toys for Tots Program collects new, unwrapped toys for children each year. Local businesses serve as collection sites where community members can drop off toys, and the collected toys are distributed to less fortunate children within the community so they can experience the joy of Christmas.

Working with Reggie Hess, Marine Corps League District 1 Vice Commandant, Local 1005 collected over 100 toys and gift cards. “We are so appreciative of the support from Local 1005. We had a very successful holiday season, and it could not have been done without their generosity,” commented Hess. “This past year, we provided over 2,400 Christmas presents to children in Porter County, and in some cases, we were able to give out up to five toys per child. It’s because of generous people like those in Local 1005 that we are able to bring happiness to kids and families on Christmas day.”

Throughout the year, IKORCC members volunteer in their local communities in countless ways, including collecting donations for local charities. “It’s all about giving back to the community and to those who may be going through a tough time,” commented Eric Yuhasz, Local 1005 Secretary and IKORCC Representative. “We have so many members who willingly volunteer time, talents and donations without hesitation. There really isn’t a better feeling than witnessing the joy and graciousness of the families receiving our volunteer services.”

Local Carpenters walk in city’s annual Welcome Santa Holiday Parade

A relentless drizzle and temperatures in the low 40s weren’t enough to knock the Christmas spirit out of about 3,000 parade-goers Saturday morning in downtown Akron.

Spectators lined both sides of Main Street, three or four deep in some places, as more than 75 units slogged through the rain in the city’s annual Welcome Santa Holiday Parade.

Although the event is a longstanding local tradition, there was nothing remotely provincial about it. Among the spectators was a woman from Cleveland Heights who said she makes the trip often because nothing in Cleveland matches up.

“We come here because it’s a very nice family occasion for the Christmas holidays,” said Kathie Demetz. “We have a lot of nice Christmas activities in Cleveland, but we don’t have a nice parade like this.”

She was sitting in a folding chair between her grandchildren, Sammy Grace, 4, and Bear Grace, 2. All three wore Santa caps. Bear wasn’t quite as enthusiastic as the other two, occasionally nodding off in his stroller.

Older kids along the route scampered around in the rain, fishing candy out of puddles.

Parade announcer Jasen Sokol of WAKR (1590-AM) noted early on that the day coincided with the big Ohio State-Michigan football game. His call of “O-H” elicited a boisterous “I-O” response from those near the main stage, located in front of KeyBank, directly across from Lock 3.

Someone else suggested adding a cheer for another hometown favorite. “What about the Zips?” yelled out a woman across the street.

Sokol immediately jumped onboard, pointing out that the University of Akron is bowl-bound after Friday’s win over archival Kent State. The enthusiastic Zip fan also was an out-of-towner — the mother of redshirt freshman Hayden Grover, a long snapper from upstate New York.

Grover’s mother, Kim, and father, Jeff, made the 5½-hour drive not only to watch Friday’s game but also to watch their son sing with Nuance, UA’s all-male a capella group, which took the stage at the close of the parade.

The Grovers have become huge fans of the school and the city.

“We’re thrilled,” said Jeff. “Coach [Terry] Bowden’s done a great job. We’ve fallen in love with the city of Akron and the whole Akron community. It’s been an overall positive experience for our son here.”

Nuance performed briefly before hiking across the street with Santa. Yes, Santa arrived on schedule despite the absence of snow.

Although no reindeer were visible, the hourlong parade included horses and dogs and elves, oh my.

The units spanned the spectrum, from unicyclists to police and fire to private contractors to classic automobiles to public officials to dancers and marching bands of all ages.

Source: ohio.com

Kids Caring for the Community program awards funds to local elementary school

For the past four years, the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC) has been partnering with local elementary schools to promote volunteerism and giving back to the community through its Kids Caring for the Community service program. Participating schools throughout Northwest Indiana complete service projects and are entered in a drawing to receive a monetary award as recognition for their community service.

Each year, Kids Caring for the Community awards $9,000 total to participating elementary schools in Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties. One winner from each county is chosen. There are four total Kids Caring for the Community sessions throughout the academic year, giving local elementary schools multiple opportunities to be selected as winners.

Local 1485 IKORCC Representative John Carr is proud to see the IKORCC families involved in the program. “Many students participating in the Kids Caring for the Community program are children of IKORCC members,” said Carr. “It is so rewarding to know the impact this program will make for many generations to come. When we teach our children to serve, we know the results will be far-reaching.”

LaPorte County schools that participated in Session 1 include Crichfield Elementary, Westville Elementary, Indian Trail Elementary, Kingsford Heights Elementary, Knapp Elementary and Rolling Prairie Elementary.

Last month, Crichfield Elementary was selected in a blind drawing of participating schools as the Session 1 winner for LaPorte County. As their service project, students collected pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House. The Ronald McDonald House supports families of children being treated for cancer and other serious illnesses or trauma while the child receives treatment at a nearby hospital or medical treatment center. To reach their goal of collecting 100 gallons of pop tabs this school year, students made posters and gave speeches about their service project.

Donna Biggs, Principal of Crichfield Elementary School, was thrilled to see the kids’ hard work being recognized. “Our student council and K Kids Club are very active in the community, and we love helping the students get excited about giving back.” Biggs said the school plans to use the awarded funds for a Buddy Bench for their playground, which is a place where students can go when they don’t have anyone to play with. The goal of the bench is to eliminate loneliness and encourage friendship on the playground. Additionally, Crichfield Elementary will be starting a Striders Club in the spring to promote more physical activity.

For more information, please contact John Carr, IKORCC Representative, at jcarr@ikorcc.com.

Carpenters Union Builds Santa’s Sleigh for Holiday Parade

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Earlier this month, Carpenters from the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC) Local 435 Member Action Committee (MAC) volunteered to build Santa’s sleigh for the Light Up Lorain Waterfront Winterfest parade.

To kick off the Christmas season, Light Up Lorain Waterfront Winterfest is an annual two- day celebration held in Lorain that includes a lighting ceremony at Veterans Park, visits with Santa at Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen and an annual parade on Broadway and West Erie Avenue. This year, the celebration will be held on Nov. 28 and 29.

Director of the Lorain Port Authority Stephen W. Bansek was thrilled to accept the donation of the Santa sleigh that was designed, constructed and painted by the Carpenters Union. “We could not be happier for their help. Our community looks forward to the fest every year. We are thankful for all who made this possible, specifically Local 435 carpenters, John Muriello and Loren Haskins.”

Upon completion of the sleigh, Santa and Mrs. Claus visited Muriello and Haskins to inspect their work. Luckily, they passed with flying colors and were told the craftsmanship and kind heartedness of the IKORCC volunteers should make carpenters proud from all over. All four sides of the sleigh will proudly display an IKORCC “carpenters making a difference” sign.

IKORCC Representative Kevin Ennis said, “Having the opportunity to give back to the community and knowing how excited the kids will be to see Santa on his sleigh will make this year’s parade even more special to us.”

For more information, please contact Kevin Ennis kennis@ikorcc.com.

Local Carpenters Reroof House for Family in Need

PARMA, Ohio – This past summer, members of the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC) from Locals 435 and 373 donated their time to help a local family with necessary home repairs.

When the McCarthy family reached out to the carpenters union, Locals 435 & 373 didn’t hesitate to volunteer. The McCarthys have four children, one of them was born with Cerebral Palsy. With mounting medical bills, the loss of Mr. McCarthy’s job, and round the clock care needed for their son, the family was unable to pay for a new roof for their home.

Materials were generously donated by local contractors, and the labor was provided by a collaborative effort between Cleveland Building Trades and Carpenters Locals 435 and 373.

Kevin Ennis, Dustin Basmagy, James Gamier, Jeremy Kuhar and Megan Walkowisk of Local 435 joined Kyle Smith, Eric Dunn, John Mills of Local 373 for the project. Jack Petsche from USA Roofing was the contractor on the project.

For more information, please contact Kevin Ennis kennis@.com

Highland Town Council Supports Local Workers

HIGHLAND, Ind. – The Highland Town Council recently passed a responsible bidder ordinance ensuring all contractors bidding on public works projects provide their employees with healthcare and pension. Additionally, contractor employees will be required to have participated in an approved apprenticeship program.

By passing the ordinance all five Highland Town Councilmen — Konnie Kuiper, Mark Herak, Dan Vassar, Steve Wagner and Bernie Zemen — have ensured that building projects in Highland will be completed by local, professional tradespeople. Councilman Dan Vassar commented, “The Town Council has a track record of supporting the union tradespeople in our community, and we will continue to do that with the responsible bidder ordinance in place. Passing this ordinance is really a great investment for Highland. It’s creating jobs for the skilled workers in our community, and as locals whose families live and work here, these workers will be reinvesting in our economy.”

Most recently, under the new agreement, local tradesmen, including carpenters and millwrights of the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC), were hired to complete the carpentry work in the new public safety facility being built in Highland.

Vassar added, “By hiring professional tradespeople for the new public safety facility, we know the quality of the work will exceed expectations.”

“As a resident of Highland, I want to thank the Highland Town Council for their commitment to the working people of our community,” said Jim Slagle of the IKORCC. “The town council recognizes that skilled local trades hold the highest standards and that we complete projects professionally, efficiently and in a timely manner. We are proud of the work we do, and we’re very grateful to live and work in such a great town.”

For more information, please contact Jim Slagle at jslagle@ikorcc.com.