During July 6-12, NRCA celebrated its first-ever National Roofing Week in part to tell the story of the growing importance of roof systems and in part to create an opportunity to talk about the great work professional roofing contractors do in their communities every day.
Thanks to Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), the week was recognized with a congressional proclamation, and NRCA did several things to promote it. Among those was a children's art contest conducted within the roofing industry for children in grades kindergarten through eighth grade. We had no idea what kind of response to expect and were pleasantly surprised to have about 30 entries from throughout the U.S. (A side note: Most entries reflected safety and security, including one that showed a roof keeping zombies out of a house.) We were even more pleasantly surprised when 1,700 votes were cast on our website to select the winners.
In addition, a group of Chicago-area volunteers, led by Bennett and Brosseau Roofing Inc., Romeoville, Ill.; Nations Roof LLC, Rolling Meadows, Ill.; Ridgeworth Roofing Co. Inc., Frankfort, Ill.; and Waukegan Roofing Co. Inc., Waukegan, Ill., performed some much-needed repairs on LYDIA Home Association, a century-old institution in Chicago that works with children from extremely difficult circumstances. With the help of materials donated by Karnak Corp., Clark, N.J., the facility got a roofing facelift; NRCA leaders in town for our Midyear Meetings raised an additional $3,850 for the organization, as well.
The week also featured a great deal of media attention; after all, just as homeowners and building owners don't think about their roofs until they have problems, the media don't report about roof system maintenance unless they are reminded to do so.
All this suggests we have to do much more to tell our story. And it also suggests the story can resonate. The biggest part of NRCA's message is professional roofing contractors can make a difference—not only by ensuring roof systems are properly installed, but also by the good deeds they do every day in communities throughout the U.S.
As part of the week's launch, NRCA also introduced a new website designed for consumers, www.everybodyneedsaroof.com. The site makes it easy for consumers to get objective roofing-related information, see some of the great work of which professional contractors are involved, and find NRCA members quickly and easily. We'll be doing a lot to promote the site to the homeowner and building owner communities.
This year, several NRCA members, on their own, conducted charitable activities to commemorate National Roofing Week. Next year, National Roofing Week will be held July 5-11, and we plan to do bigger and better things involving more NRCA members in new initiatives.
We have a great story to tell, and our experience this year suggests we have a lot of willing listeners. Look for more from us in the months ahead.
Bill Good is NRCA's executive vice president.