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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

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The Northwest Ohio Carpenter’s Union has lent a hand for a charity project in

Stony Ridge.

Apprentices helped with a house that has been taken on as a rehab project by the community and nearby churches. The union is based in Rossford.

The “Stony Ridge Community Rehab Project” was developed to help a woman in the village who needed major renovations done for her home. The home belongs to Natalie St. Arnaud, a shut-in member of St. John's Lutheran Church and lifelong resident of Stony Ridge.

Joining in the forces are church members from St. John’s Lutheran Church in Stony Ridge, Stony Ridge Methodist Church and Zion Lutheran Church in Latcha.

St. John’s Lutheran Church and members of the community formed a steering committee that met with the St. Arnaud’s family, toured the house, assessed the needs and came up with the projected amount of money needed for the project, said Nancy Gerwin, a volunteer overseeing the project. Gerwin called the union coordinator, Mike Ball, to offer the opportunity for carpentry apprentices to get involved.

Ball, director of instruction for the carpenters union, and Ken Trumbull, carpentry instructor, met with committee members at the house in mid-August to review the project.

Under Trumbull’s supervision, six volunteer workers from the union’s Northwest Ohio Joint Apprenticeship Training Center began working at the project site during the first week of September and finished hanging drywall throughout the entire house. The apprentices, who only needed a week to finish their part of the job, will receive class credit in the apprenticeship program.

The apprenticeship program is operated by the Associated General Contractors and is a joint operation between labor and management, Trumbull said.

“This will be a hands-on learning experience for the apprentices and also a great boost for this project, which so far has been done by volunteers,” said Gerwin as the apprentices began hanging drywall. “The assistance of the young men during this week will move the work along much faster.”

Gerwin said the drywall materials were donated by two area businesses and the apprentices provided their own tools to complete the job.

Other community volunteers began working inside the house on June 1.

“Saturday workdays have been held throughout the summer for specific projects focusing on outdoor needs of the property,” Gerwin said. “At the present time, work is focused on the front porch which needed a new roof and a fresh coat of paint.”

She said the goal for completing the project is mid-autumn.

“The project has brought neighbors and community members together working on a common goal to help someone in need,” Gerwin said. “It is good to see this much sharing and kindness being extended to help someone, especially in our current economic struggle.

“To close, we, the community of Stony Ridge, would like to send out our ‘sincere thank you’ to the union and the young men who came to work on this project.”

The Social Ministries Committee of St. John's Lutheran Church, chaired by Gerwin, is to serve the needs of people in the church and community, she said. From there, a steering committee and fundraising committee were established. Jerri Reitzel, Lynette Brough and Bobbi Henry have all been working on various fundraising ideas for this project.
Gerwin says to date $11,000 has been collected through various fundraisers and donations. She added that many businesses have made material donations, also.

“A donation board has been placed in the front yard of the property to show our ‘thanks’ for all involved,” Gerwin said.

Another fundraiser in the works includes a golf scramble at Tanglewood on Sept. 26. For more information on the scramble or to make a donation, call Reitzel at 419-837-2972.

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