News & Updates from muscle crew

Electrician Lends a Hand At Detroit Water Ice

Electrician Lends a Hand At Detroit Water Ice

DETROIT — Doug Watson isn’t a carpenter by trade—he’s a longtime electrician at The Conti Corporation—but he raised his hand anyway when he heard that S.A.Y. Detroit needed some work done at its Detroit Water Ice Factory in downtown Detroit.

The request: Install a third row of trim designed to hold a slew of celebrity photographs at the frozen dessert store at Campus Martius, where all profits benefit Detroit’s neediest citizens under Mitch Albom’s S.A.Y. Detroit umbrella of charities.

“I’ve been in the business long enough that I know how to do a lot of different things,” Watson said. “I’m glad that you contacted me, but I’m especially glad that it worked out well.”

The project, which was completed last week, was Watson’s first since joining the Detroit Muscle Crew II last spring after Albom formed the all-volunteer team of skilled tradespeople to help with S.A.Y. Detroit’s physical projects and endeavors. (You can sign up to become a member here.)

Watson said that he had so much fun, and that Albom was so grateful, that he decided to donate the materials for the project himself, a value of $143.

“It was great teamwork all the way around,” Watson said. “Bedrock (which provides the DWIF space for the store) even sent a guy over to help me, because it was a two-person job.”

DMC Update #5 from St. Anthony’s: Completed Thanks to One-Step Home Solutions

DMC Update #5 from St. Anthony’s: Completed Thanks to One-Step Home Solutions

There’s above and beyond, and then there’s WAY above and beyond.

That sums up the dedication and commitment of Detroit Muscle Crew II members Mike Stephanoff and Ron LaBarge of One-Step Home Solutions.

We are happy to report that our first major project of the DMCII is completed at the Cathedral of St. Anthony (5247 Sheridan Street, Detroit) largely because Mike and Ron continued to step up to the plate and make sure that the food and clothing pantry, and the entrances to the 100-plus year-old church, received the necessary improvements they sorely needed.

The final phase of the project consisted of installing two new steel entry doors; the first phase (completed a few weeks ago) included the installation of 18 new glass block windows. You can read our previous posts to learn more about the contributions of Mike, Ron and other DMCII team members on that part of the project.

“We accomplished an awful lot thanks to you guys,” Jim Penrod, St. Anthony’s clothing and food director, said Monday. “When we started our second project (the new doors) and no one stepped up to the plate, they handled everything. It looks great. It really looks good. You don’t know what a help you’ve been to us.”

Mike, who served as the manager of the St. Anthony improvements from beginning to end, logged a total of 60 volunteer hours on the projects over the course of the past few months; Ron totaled 54. Materials were purchased via funds that Bishop Karl Rodig’s church received from the Hole in the Roof Foundation via Mitch Albom’s S.A.Y. Detroit 2016 Radiothon. The church’s food and clothing pantry assists thousands of residents each year.

“I think they’re a wonderful group of people, and you also realize the battle they’re engaged in,” Mike said. “That building requires so much tender loving care and maintenance; I’m glad I was able to help them.”

Muscle Crew Spruces Up S.A.Y. Play Grounds

Muscle Crew Spruces Up S.A.Y. Play Grounds

A big S.A.Y. Detroit shout-out to Matt Mosher, one of our original Detroit Muscle Crew (Haiti) members, who sent out his team from Mosher & Associates Landscape Services to do some much-needed landscaping work at our S.A.Y. Play Center at Lipke Park today. Thank you, Matt, for donating your company’s time and services to help our non-profit center before summer session begins for the kids on July 10.

Pop-up DWIF Up & Running Thanks to DMCII

Pop-up DWIF Up & Running Thanks to DMCII

Bloomfield Hills — If you happen to stop by the Detroit Water Ice Factory’s new pop-up location this summer at the Franklin Cider Mill, you’ll see the handy work of your Detroit Muscle Crew II.

All you have to do is take a look around.

The scoop: A team of DMCII members came together shortly before Memorial Day and put up the large tent on the parking lot at the cider mill. It wasn’t as easy as it looks. There was some craftsmanship going on to make the whole thing come together, with volunteers Jack Galopin and a few member members of Scott Albaugh’s masonry team, combined with a huge assist from Richard Krus of Midas Shelby Township.

The pop-up location at the cider mill, which is closed for the summer, will be open through the third week of August.

The DWIF, founded by author and columnist Mitch Albom, opened in downtown Detroit in August 2015. All profits support Albom’s S.A.Y. Detroit charity, which helps Detroiters in need. The cider mill’s picturesque scenery makes it the perfect spot for a pop-up, so come visit us this summer!

DMC Update 4 from St. Anthony’s: Phase 1 Completed;  Carpenters, painters needed for Phase 2

DMC Update 4 from St. Anthony’s: Phase 1 Completed; Carpenters, painters needed for Phase 2

DETROIT — It has been a few weeks since your last Detroit Muscle Crew II update about the work being done at the Cathedral of St. Anthony in Detroit, and it’s time to get you up to speed.

And give you major plaudits.

And ask for more help.

As you’ve been reading since mid-spring, the Cathedral of St. Anthony was the recipient of a $5,000 donation from S.A.Y. Detroit’s Hole in the Roof Foundation for window replacement as well as other repairs at its food and clothing pantry which serves thousands of homeless and impoverished residents each year.

Thanks to members of our volunteer Detroit Muscle Crew II, 18 new glass block window units were installed, along with a new door, while four others were adjusted throughout the rectory.

So many wonderful people stepped up to make this project a success thus far. In fact, they’re so good that St. Anthony reports that it has approximately $3,500 left from its donation, and would like your help to replace some of its 100-year-old doors on the other side of the building that might need to be custom-built (more on that in a bit).

But back to the first phase of the project.

Thanks to the leadership of Mike Stephanoff, who logged more than 40 volunteer hours on the project — from getting the best deal on 18 glass block units and organizing the crew, to fabricating and welding a steel grate himself for the pantry door — St. Anthony is now able to carry out its work in a much-improved setting.

New Door at St. Anthony's Church Donated by Jon Krebs of the Madison Heights Glass Company in Ferndale, MIThe topper? The door that you see in the photo was donated to Mike for the project by Jon Krebs of the Madison Heights Glass Company in Ferndale. The value of the door was $1,000. Thank you Jon!

In addition, John’s Lumber donated the plywood, rigid foam, caulk and shims purchased for the project (value: $208.23). Thank you Bill Brys and Chuck Diel!

Of course, the project couldn’t have come together without Scott Albaugh, owner of Albaugh Masonry. Scott sent over his team of masonry professionals to tackle the window mortar work on installation day. Their total number of hours logged was 34.

The other members of Mike Stephanoff’s crew: Ron LaBarge (33.5 hours), Al Colcernian (17.5), Joe Ferrara (15.5), Roy Seton (8.5) and Tom Stephanoff (4). Muscle Crew member Jim Primeau also came out a twice during the project to lend a hand.

Thank you all!

But we’re not done yet.

We’re looking for a few carpenters and painters to finish the project. The job would entail replacing rotted side doors at the church and painting or staining them. St. Anthony will pay you for the materials with the funding that remains from the donation. But they need help from the Muscle Crew with the physical part of the project.

Since we want to get this done quickly, please contact Jim Penrod directly at the church. He’s the clothing and food pantry coordinator at St. Anthony; his cell phone number is 586-206-3827. Just so you know, he will check with us first to make sure the volunteers are registered Muscle Crew II members before proceeding. If you haven’t yet signed up to volunteer, you can do so here.

Once again, thank you for your generosity! And don’t forget to visit your Detroit Muscle Crew II page at

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