Everyday Heroes

NRCA members continue to selflessly give in every possible way

  • Since 2004, Cobra Building Envelope Contractors has partnered with Ronald McDonald House Charities. Photo courtesy of Ronald McDonald House Charities, Spokane, Wash.
  • Cobra Building Envelope Contractors partnered with Ronald McDonald House Charities to design the Cobra Polo Classic. This year, the event raised more than $1.5 million.Photo courtesy of Ronald McDonald House Charities, Spokane, Wash.
  • Kirberg Co. donated the crane and labor to transport Rally Squirrel, SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center's mascot, to his new home in the playground on the roof of the Bob Costas Cancer Center.Photo courtesy of Kirberg Co., St. Louis.
  • Mike's Roofing and Building performs all repairs and reroofing projects for valley village.Photo courtesy of Kirberg Co., St. Louis.
  • GAF employees participated in the corporate challenge program, where volunteers put in a full day of construction work on three habitat for humanity homes.Photo courtesy of Paterson Habitat for Humanity, New Jersey.
  • NRCA members participate in the International Roofing Expo's annual community service day in Orlando, Fla.Photo courtesy of Paterson Habitat for Humanity, New Jersey.
  • Volunteers helped renovate three homes during the International Roofing Expo's annual Community Service Day. Photo courtesy of Paterson Habitat for Humanity, New Jersey.

True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost."—Arthur Ashe

NRCA members have a long history of serving others; it seems being a roofing professional carries this inherent responsibility. For many members, possessing the superpower to build roof systems empowers them to serve those less fortunate in their communities.

It is a tradition for Professional Roofing's August issue to feature such contributions. Here are some of the feats this great community of superheroes has performed during the past year.

Special events

Cobra Building Envelope Contractors, Spokane, Wash., partnered with Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Spokane to design a unique event, the Cobra Polo Classic, to benefit the children and families of RMHC Spokane. Since its inception in 2004, Cobra Building Envelope Contractors has been the event's title sponsor—a $30,000 donation. Regarded as the greatest international polo benefit in the world by polo players, more than 100 employees from Cobra Building Envelope Contractors volunteered at this year's event, which raised more than $1.5 million to help serve RMHC's more than 500 families.

Each year, RMHC provides 7,000 nights of lodging at Ronald McDonald Houses. In addition, The Family Rooms at Sacred Heart Children's Hospital, Spokane, serve 1,500 families every year for day use and lodging. More than 50 percent of these families experienced premature births and 35 percent have children with cancer. Most families arrive without a suitcase or supplies; RMHC provides the families with necessary services and supplies for their stay.

"Cobra Building Envelope Contractors has played a vital role in helping to provide a home away from home for families from our four-state area," says Mike Forness, executive director for RMHC Spokane.

The Cobra Polo Classic is an event with polo action, live music, a silent auction, and gourmet food and wine. It is a complex undertaking with 1,200 guests, 450 volunteers, no running water and the variables of live animals and weather.

"Despite the hours of planning Cobra Building Envelope Contractors has provided each year, it has continued its commitment and support to the children and families in need at RMHC," Forness says. "The benefits to these families are nothing less than amazing."

Community outreach

In Pennsylvania, Power Home Remodeling Group™ has made community service a companywide priority. During its ribbon-cutting event in 2011 to commemorate its new corporate headquarters in Chester, Power Home Remodeling Group announced its community-based mentorship program, Power University. Partnering with Chester Upland School District, Delaware County Community College, Chester Youth Collaborative and Chester Education Foundation, Power University is a three-year hands-on program for high school students. The students participate in skills-based business and marketing courses and mentorship programs. Through the program, students are exposed to real-life business skills that will open doors to future collegiate and job opportunities. As part of the program, Power Home Remodeling Group donated 12 iMacs, including software, accessories and equipment to Chester High School.

Power Home Remodeling Group also became a national corporate sponsor of Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) for Childhood Cancer. ALSF is one of the leading foundations for pediatric cancer; the organization has raised more than $45 million and funded more than 200 cutting-edge projects. Since announcing the partnership, Power Home Remodeling Group has donated more than $300,000.

In 2011, Power Home Remodeling Group also committed to donating $1 per window, per square foot of siding and per square foot of roofing materials installed during the year to raise pediatric cancer awareness within each of the markets it offers home improvement services.

In addition to this $100,000 donation, Power Home Remodeling Group co-founders Adam Kaliner and Jeff Kaliner helped ALSF break its $1 million pledge mark at its annual telethon by presenting a check for $106,000 after learning ALSF was $6,000 short of the $1 million milestone. The company also has set up Alex's Lemonade Stands at its corporate headquarters and five satellite offices, and it hosted the first Power 5K Run for ALSF.

Power Home Remodeling Group also is committed to helping the local community wherever it opens a new branch office. With the openings of its Melville, N.Y., and Marlborough, Mass., locations, the company contributed $10,000 to YouthBuild® Long Island and $10,000 to the Massachusetts YouthBuild Coalition to help support resources and programs.

YouthBuild USA is a free youth community development program and alternative school offering career training in green industries to low-income people ages 16 to 24 who did not graduate from high school. Power Home Remodeling Group also provides support to the organization by providing employees to assist with retrofitting training and job shadowing opportunities for YouthBuild students. There is no doubt the company's generous contributions are creating bright futures for many young adults.

Labors of love

Kirberg Co., St. Louis, created its own bright spot for children of SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center. Kirberg helped Rally Squirrel, SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center's mascot, find a permanent home in a new playground above the Bob Costas Cancer Center in St. Louis. The company donated the crane and manpower to transport and place Rally Squirrel and his tree on the new playground on the cancer center's roof. Rally Squirrel T-shirt and memorabilia donations helped to raise more than $500,000 to fund the playground, which now is called the Rally Squirrel Play Area. The 2,000-square-foot playground opened in April with St. Louis Cardinals' left fielder Matt Holliday on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

"We can't thank Kirberg enough for the generous support of this project," says Dan Buck, executive director of Cardinal Glennon Children's Foundation. "They saved us thousands of dollars in equipment and manpower by donating their crane and crew to get Rally Squirrel and his tree in place on the roof."

"We could not be more pleased to help with such a worthy cause," says Eric Kirberg, vice president of Kirberg. "The playground will provide a place of rest and comfort to the children who really need it. We're happy to have played a part in its creation."

Helping children is a worthy cause, but many ailing adults need assistance, too. Mike's Roofing and Building Corp., Van Nuys, Calif., performs all the repairs and reroofing projects for Valley Village in Winnetka, Calif. Valley Village provides housing for adults with developmental disabilities. The village consists of a house, condominiums and a commercial building.

In 2011, Mike's Roofing and Building provided the labor to perform a roof system restoration for Valley Village. The company swept debris and power washed the roof surface before application, making necessary repairs along the way. All repairs were three-coursed using flashing cement and fiberglass reinforcement. The platforms and metal joints in edging, coping, etc., were primed and sealed. Valleys and water ways received a layer of polyester, and a new 1,500-square-foot roof system, including valleys and a parapet wall, was installed. A reflective coating then was applied over the entire roof surface, including flashings, vents and ductwork.

"Mike's Roofing and Building always is helping and working with communities in the San Fernando Valley," says Ignacio Salas, manager at ABC® Supply Co. Inc., Chatsworth, Calif. "It is a giving and caring company, providing donations, discounts and time whenever it can."

A place to call home is perhaps the greatest blessing for a family. Dallas-based National Roofing Partners (NRP®), with help from ABC Supply Co. Inc., Beloit, Wis., and KPostCompany, Dallas, gave a family the gift of saving their home during the holiday season. After learning the Irving, Texas, government declared the family's house inhabitable and threatened to condemn the home if a roof system replacement was not made, Rick Jenkins, director of commercial sales with ABC Supply, agreed to donate the materials needed to complete the project, and KPostCompany offered to supply the labor.

Adan Casteneda, sheet metal superintendent for KPostCompany, and a team of about 15 employees from its sheet metal department volunteered their time and labor to replace the existing roof system. The home's three existing roof systems were torn off and replaced—the equivalent of 5,700 square feet—and about 300 square feet of wood decking was replaced, as well as about 400 feet of wood rafters and fascia.

"We are grateful for the time, labor and materials of everyone involved from NRP, KPostCompany and ABC Supply," says the homeowner. "We now have peace of mind there will be no more leaks. My heart is warmed every time I see our new roof."

Many NRCA members have ongoing partnerships and have made donating labor and materials a habit. Chandler's Roofing Inc., San Pedro, Calif., completed its sixth roofing project for Habitat for Humanity® of Greater Los Angeles (HFH GLA). Partnerships with GAF, Wayne, N.J., and Malarkey Roofing Products,™ Portland, Ore., allowed the roof systems to be completed with donated and/or highly discounted roofing materials. Additionally, two of the homes were enhanced by donated photovoltaic panels from the 2011 Emmys,® providing the families with reduced electric bills for years to come.

"We are excited about the partnership with HFH GLA and the dedication of our manufacturing partners," says Brian Hicks, chief executive officer of Chandler's Roofing. "The ability for us to give back to our local community is a rewarding experience."

Chandler's Roofing will begin work on its seventh project for Habitat for Humanity this month. To date, the company has put roofs over the heads of nine families.

GAF also partnered with Reed Construction Data,® Norcross, Ga., and Hanley Wood LLC, Washington, D.C., to help renovate and expand an abandoned building for use by Sasha Bruce Youthwork (SBY), one of the largest providers of services to youth in Washington, D.C. SBY helps young people find safe homes; achieve and maintain good physical and mental health; create and strengthen supportive and stable families; explore opportunities in education and careers; and become tomorrow's leaders.

The property was donated to SBY for use as service-enriched transitional housing. The project's goal is to convert a community eyesore into an energy-efficient transitional home for homeless young people seeking to develop skills for the future. GAF donated its Timberline® Cool Series Shingles to the project, along with WeatherWatch® XT Leak Barrier and Deck-Armor™ Roof Deck Protection.

Companywide efforts

GAF not only is generous with material donations, its employees are generous with their time.

GAF employees were part of 800 volunteers from 39 companies who participated in the annual Corporate

Challenge program through Paterson Habitat for Humanity in New Jersey. GAF corporate volunteers put in a full day of construction work on three Habitat for Humanity homes in the 4th ward, installing sheathing, insulation and siding and painting interiors.

"It's a welcome opportunity for our people to come together and give hands-on support to a cause we believe in," says Alyssa Hall, spokesperson for GAF.

For 60 employees from Las Vegas-based Commercial Roofers Inc., one day makes all the difference. The employees donated a day of wages to Convoy of Hope® to help feed the impoverished around the world. Since its founding in 1994, Convoy of Hope has served more than 51 million people throughout the world through international children's feeding initiatives, community outreaches, disaster response and partner resourcing.

When Scott Howard, president of Commercial Roofers, presented Convoy of Hopes' One Day to Feed the World idea to his employees, he had no idea how they would respond.

"In my wildest dreams, I never expected 60 of our employees would participate in the campaign," Howard says.

By generously giving up one day of pay, Commercial Roofers' employees gifted more than $14,000 to the cause.

"Many people are surprised when they find out just how much one day of their wages can make a difference in someone's life," says Hal Donaldson, president of Convoy of Hope. "When people give like this, it really fuels our passion to help those most in need around the world."

In Ohio, The Garland Co. Inc.® dedicated an entire week to raising money in support of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® in Cleveland. The employee-owned manufacturing company themed the week "Catch the Wave" and redecorated offices using a boardwalk theme. For one week, employees participated in a variety of fundraising activities, such as an eating contest, garbage can races and a silent auction, with all proceeds benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital's mission of finding cures for children with cancer and other deadly diseases. Since opening its doors 50 years ago, St. Jude Children's

Research Hospital has developed protocols that have helped push overall survival rates for childhood cancers from less than 20 percent in 1962 to 80 percent currently.

"It is amazing to see our entire office rally together in support of such a great cause," says David Sokol, president of The Garland Co. "This is the third year we've done this, and it seems to be getting bigger and better each year."

Rebuilding Together®

The roofing industry is a long-term partner with Rebuilding Together, the nation's leading nonprofit organization working to preserve affordable homeownership and revitalize neighborhoods by providing extensive rehabilitation and modification services to those in need at no cost to those served. Each year, the organization completes about 10,000 projects for low-income homeowners and the communities in which they live. It has programs dedicated to energy efficiency, veteran housing and Gulf Coast reconstruction.

NRCA has been a Rebuilding Together corporate sponsor for about 14 years and participates in many activities and initiatives, including Rebuilding Together's Kickoff to Rebuild—an annual NFL Super Bowl-sanctioned charity event that occurs in the Super Bowl's host city the Friday before the Super Bowl. The event engages members of the NFL community to assist low-income neighborhoods. This year, hundreds of volunteers, including NRCA Executive Vice President Bill Good, worked alongside NFL players to revitalize 10 homes and build Carter's Kids playground in Indianapolis' Near Eastside neighborhood. GAF provided the materials, and the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers Local 119 supplied the labor.

"We are especially grateful for the contributions of GAF and Local 119," Good says. "GAF and Local 119 responded to our requests for help with enthusiasm and professionalism. As a result, there is an elderly homeowner in Indianapolis whose home is completely redone."

The roofing industry also has the opportunity to work with Rebuilding Together during the International Roofing Expo® (IRE). Each year, IRE holds a Community Service Day. This year, IRE partnered with Rebuilding Together Central Florida and NRCA's Community Service and Disaster Relief Committee to host the home renovation and revitalization project.

Forty volunteers helped renovate three homes. NRCA; Sika Sarnafil, Canton, Mass.; and Tecta America Corp., Rosemont, Ill., were among the companies and organizations involved in Community Service Day. Additionally, Owens Corning, Toledo, Ohio, donated shingles and Springer-Peterson Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., Lakeland, Fla., donated labor to finish the work on two homes that will be part of the NBA Cares program.

"We're especially grateful to our friends at Owens Corning for donating a new roof and to Springer-Peterson Roofing for donating the labor," Good says. "And once again, we couldn't have done it—literally—without the sponsorship of Sika Sarnafil. We're grateful to them all."

"It was great to see our guys interact with LeBron James and the NBA players," says Rob Springer, president of Springer-Peterson Roofing. "And to see how proud and appreciative the residents were, that really was rewarding."

In addition to its work with Rebuilding Together, Springer-Peterson Roofing partners with Habitat for Humanity to install new roof systems on about 15-20 homes each year.

Tecta America Central Florida LLC, Sanford, with assistance from former NRCA Vice President Lindy Ryan, also partnered with Rebuilding Together during Community Service Day events and completed work on the roof systems of a women's shelter near Orlando, Fla.

Forever dedicated

As we can see, there is no shortage of superhero stories within the NRCA community. These are just a few of the brave acts performed by our members during the past year. Every day, a member makes someone's life better, and often the story goes untold. But the story never goes unnoticed by the ones who have been touched by that act of kindness.

Chrystine Elle Hanus is Professional Roofing's associate editor and NRCA's director of communications.

Did you know?

Every year, NRCA receives many requests for roofing assistance from people in dire straits. As a result, in 2010, NRCA created the Pay it Forward program to match those in need with those who can help. Roofing companies volunteer to be placed on the Pay it Forward list, and when NRCA learns of someone in need near the company's geographic area, the project information is forwarded to the company. Volunteer companies are not obligated to provide labor or materials, but they receive the project information to determine whether they are able to help. If a company is able to provide roofing assistance, the homeowner is asked to Pay it Forward by helping another person in need when the opportunity presents itself.

Earlier this year, The Melanson Co. Inc., Keene, N.H., repaired an elderly woman's roof using leftover materials from another job. If you would like to become a Pay it Forward volunteer, visit www.nrca.net/member/about/charity/service.



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