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Lowe's volunteers lend a hand to Pa. school

December 20, 2006|by DON AINES

SCOTLAND, Pa. - Normally, Lowe's employees help the do-it-yourselfers, but this week a group from the Chambersburg home improvement center are doing it themselves, volunteering their time to build a new concession stand for the athletic field at the Scotland School for Veterans' Children.

By lunchtime Tuesday, the walls were up and Lowe's Operations Manager Jason Martinage and other employees were positioning a roof truss on the concession stand at Heckler Field. Volunteers from the store are expected to work through today and into Thursday to complete the stand, said Susan Morris, a zone manager at the store.

"They do a lot for veterans and their children, so we want to give back for what they do for us," Morris said of the reason the school was selected for the store's Lowe's Heroes project this year. Lowe's Heroes is a companywide volunteer program established in 1996 to assist with community projects, she said.

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Last year, volunteers from Lowe's installed smoke detectors in the homes of senior citizens, she said. This year, Lowe's had a $1,200 allotment and a lot of volunteer labor to build a replacement for the field's 20-year-old concession stand.

"This one should last for many years," said Morris.

Unlike the existing stand, this one is built on a concrete foundation that was paid for by the Foundation for Scotland School for Veterans' Children, said Wendy Rotz, chief executive officer of the organization.

"It's a tremendous help to us," Rotz said. "The old building has been there many, many years, and it was not on the list of things to be replaced by the state."

The state-funded school provides residential education to about 300 children of Pennsylvania veterans on a 186-acre campus.

"I'm actually a veteran, so I thought it would be good for the kids," said Clay Fissel of Gettysburg, Pa., a plumbing specialist at the Chambersburg Lowe's and one of 13 store volunteers on the job Tuesday. "It gives you a chance to actually do something ... It's a different kind of gratification."

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