Royal Oak — As scores of patrons waited in line Saturday (May 20) to visit the Polk Penguin Conservation Center, more than two dozen A Time to Help Volunteers made their way behind the building to face the project that awaited them at the Detroit Zoo: Spreading thousands of pounds of landscaping rocks.
How’s that song go? Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
Led by S.A.Y. Detroit founder Mitch Albom and his radio show co-host, Ken Brown, the crew worked diligently for nearly three hours clearing debris, shoveling rocks into wheel barrels and, finally, spreading the rocks around shrubs and trees to beautify the area behind the center.
“This group is awesome,” said Matthew Lapshan, who leads the Detroit Zoo’s landscaping staff. “I can’t believe how much they can get done in a short period of time. They went right to work.”
The fellowship among the volunteers is one of the reasons Donna Mesyn of Clinton Township has been supporting ATTH for the last 15 years.
“Of all my experiences, volunteer people are the greatest to be around,” Mesyn said. “I love ATTH. I love we’re getting something accomplished, and the friendships I’ve made. But the best thing is that we don’t have to look for the work to do; it’s assigned to us because of Mitch and his great organization, and the time they put in. It’s a fun way to spend a Saturday.”
DETROIT/MAY 12 – Only when the church bells rang out at noon did the Detroit Muscle Crew II team of volunteers take a break.
The crew spent the day on Friday volunteering their labor at the Cathedral of St. Anthony on Detroit’s east side replacing and installing more than a dozen glass block windows around the church’s food and clothing pantry.
The window installation was the first phase of the work that’s being done at the church that feeds and clothes hundreds of poor and homeless people each year. St. Anthony received a $5,000 donation from A Hole in the Roof Foundation from funds raised at the 2016 Mitch Albom S.A.Y. Detroit Radiothon. Those funds are being used for materials; the Muscle Crew is supplying the labor.
The St. Anthony project is being led by Mike Stephanoff, president of One Step Home Solutions, who on Friday brought four colleagues: Allan Colcernian, Roy Seaton, Ron LaBarge and Tom Stephanoff. His team will return Saturday to install a new door and repair several others with the help of fellow volunteer Joe Ferrara.
Supplying a major assist replacing and installing the windows Friday was Albaugh Masonry. The company graciously donated the services of four of its employees: Ray Beebe, Simon Albaugh, Eric Sanderson and John Beebe.
Also lending a hand — err, make that some muscle — was Muscle Crew II volunteer Jim Primeau of Oxford.
The spirit of cooperation between the skilled trades professionals was evident throughout the day.
“We divided up the tasks and went to work,” Stephanoff said. “Their (Albaugh Masonry) skill with their trade, well, it’s making this job go exceptionally well.”
Ray Beebe, leader of the Albaugh group, said: “This is so rewarding for us helping out and giving back to the community.”
Bishop Karl Rodig of St. Anthony, said he has been overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of the group. Because not all of the funds will be exhausted after the two-day first phase of the project, the Muscle Crew will return in the coming weeks with (he hopes) a painter and a roofer for a few more repairs.
“There’s no words,” Rodig said. “We save, May through October, to pay for our winter heating. What a good crew, good idea, this is. We are very thankful.”
S.A.Y. Detroit is thrilled to share Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded $50,000 to the S.A.Y. Detroit Play Center at Lipke Park, the largest of 23 grants totaling $181,000 statewide. Twenty-two other Michigan schools, non-profits, and literacy organizations also received grants, aimed at supporting adult, family and summer literacy programs within a 20-mile radius of a Dollar General store or distribution center. S.A.Y. Play’s local store is just 6 blocks north of the center on 20164 Van Dyke Street.
The statewide grants are part of more than $7.5 million that the Dollar General Literacy Foundation awarded nationwide. More information can be found at www.dgliteracy.org. Read their release here.
When Tori Weingarten decided to research the Detroit Water Ice Factory last fall, she did so with one idea in mind: She wanted to find a unique product that would stand out among the rest.
As it turned out, the DWIF was a winner for Weingarten this year. The Bloomfield Hills High junior routinely placed and won awards pitching the product in her sales competitions in forensics during the school year, culminating with a third-place finish at the Michigan Interscholastic Forensics Association State Tournament on April 28-29 at Eastern Michigan University.
“The deciding factor was the amazing giving back campaign,” Weingarten wrote in an email to S.A.Y. Detroit. “I loved promoting a Detroit product, and this bonus of discovering a place where 100% of the profits go to S.A.Y. Detroit charities sealed the deal. I had found the perfect, unique dessert company and knew it would be a winner.”
Also known as competitive speaking, forensics features debate, public speaking and performance in an array of categories.
On short notice on Monday, volunteers from the Detroit Muscle Crew II and the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries gathered to erect a tent that will be used this summer for S.A.Y. Detroit’s satellite location of the Detroit Water Ice Factory.
Special thanks go to Scott Albaugh of Albaugh Masonry, who sent three of his summer employees to the Franklin Cider Mill in Bloomfield Hills, where the tent was raised. Fellow Muscle Crew team member Jack Galopin drove in from Pinckney to help. Thanks Jack!
And, as always, big thanks go to Dr. Chad Audi, president of the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries — our operating partner — who sent three people over to lend a hand.
From start to finish, the job took two hours to complete. Thank you volunteers!
The group that spent Monday afternoon at the Franklin Cider Mill in Bloomfield Hills raising the tent that will be used this summer for our Detroit Water Ice Factory’s seasonal location. We acknowledge the following folks and businesses associated with the all-volunteer Detroit Muscle Crew II who made this happened: Scott Albaugh of Albaugh Masonry, who sent three employees (Ben and Blake Borkowski and Simon Albaugh); Jack Galopin of Pinckney (he’s in the red sweatshirt); and the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, who supplied three helpers for this project. Also pictured is Larry Brown of the Franklin Cider Mill and Rick Bochenek, who will be managing the DWIF location.
Many thanks to Scott Albaugh of Albaugh Masonry who answered the Detroit Muscle Crew II’s call for volunteerism and sent three of his summer employees — Simon Albaugh, Ben Borkowski and Blake Borkowski – to help us raise the tent for our nonprofit Detroit Water Ice Factory’s summertime location that will be opening later this month at the Franklin Cider Mill in Bloomfield Hills. The Albaugh crew here is next to Rick Bochenek, who’s going to be managing the DWIF location.
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