Giving Back - FRSA Members Giving Back to the Community

October 2019

South Florida Members Assist Family from Bahamas After Hurricane Dorian

A family and their pets arrived in South Florida on an airplane after they lost their home in Hurricane Dorian’s wrath. The plane had taken off from Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport filled with essential supplies and a generous family. Normally, the plane, a Beechcraft King Air 100, is fitted with nine seats and a couple of tables. However, on the flight to Freeport, Bahamas, the seats and tables were cleared to make room for the supplies.

Once the plane arrived at the Grand Bahama International Airport, the crew was told to leave by sunset. The airport looked like a ghost town except for a couple of planes that had landed to drop off supplies. A hangar that was ripped up from the strength of Hurricane Dorian’s winds could be seen in the distance while crews unloaded the supplies. This hangar at Grand Bahama International Airport was ripped to shreds along with several planes. At least three planes — or pieces of planes — were seen damaged at the airport. A shipping container was also ripped apart. Crumbled concrete could be seen laying on the ground, which shows how strong and powerful the winds were that swept through the area.

Dora Foote of Furman Insurance, Pompano Beach, one of the organizers of the trip, said that the Pyfrom family, consisting of Catherine, Tara and 6-year-old Hazel plus their four dogs, Nutmeg, Ginger, Pearl and Sky, would be joining them on the flight back home. “We’re doing our very best,” Rob Foote said.
Friends brought the family to the airport after they had hoped to get on an earlier flight but were unable to. After the Foote’s plane arrived, the two families met, and the Foote’s spontaneously invited them on board. The family said they survived 19 feet of water in their Freeport home and rode out the storm’s water and wind in the attic. Hazel, the family’s six-year-old daughter, slept in a plastic packing container with her stuffed animal, Elie.

“Got into the attic and stayed there for 24 hours,” Catherine Pyfrom said. “We didn’t think we were going to make it, honestly. I made a final video for my family on the floating camera in case they found it.”

Rob Kornahrens, Advanced Roofing Inc., Ft. Lauderdale, helped organize the trip with the help of non-profits like Hope 4 Hope Town, Mission Resolve and Samaritan’s Purse. The supplies on board the aircraft were for the Grand Bahama Children’s Home, a center for neglected boys and girls.“They’re all coming together and all trying to do the best we can,” Kornahrens said.
The Foote family, Kornahrens and others own the plane and often travel to the Bahamas for vacations.

The Pyfrom family said they lost one of their dogs during Hurricane Dorian. They will be staying in a home that they have in Plantation and were looking forward to a shower and a hot meal.

Disabled Eustis Vet Gets New Roof Through Joint Partnership: ‘It makes me want to cry’

Army veteran Edwin Seda carefully navigated his way out of his home, looked up at his roof and flashed a winning smile. The 63-year-old, who is disabled and uses a walker, had reason to be happy. A team of workers from Tadlock Roofing, Orlando were busy installing a much-needed new roof on Seda’s home, courtesy of the Owens Corning Roof Deployment Project, a nationwide initiative that provides new roofs at no cost to veterans in need.

The Eustis project was a joint partnership between Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter, Owens Corning and Tadlock, one of its platinum contractors.
“I’m very grateful,” said Seda, a multi-lingual West Point graduate who spent the majority of his 20-year military career overseas working in intelligence in Egypt, Greece, Italy and Poland.

President of Tri County Metals Recognized for Supporting Active Military and Veterans

Chris Weatherilt, President of Tri County Metals, Trenton, was given the Patriot Award through the U.S. Department of Defense. The award labels Weatherilt as a “patriotic employer.” It is given to those who support their active military and veteran employees. Recipients of the award must be nominated by an employee. Weatherilt was nominated by Florida Army National Guard First Sergeant David Grimes, who formerly worked at Tri County Metals.

Weatherilt, while he appreciates the recognition, says it is not what motivates him. “I just try to give back to people,” Weatherilt said, “And it just works out that way.”

August 2019

Former Boy Scouts Give Back to the Camp that Taught Them What Community Service Means

In October 2018, Hurricane Michael made landfall in the southeast region of the United States. The category 5 hurricane devastated many areas, including the Wallwood Boy Scouts Reservation in Quincy, FL. With peak winds of 160 mph, the roofs on three buildings were destroyed and almost threatened the summer camp season.

Roofers have been keeping busy repairing the storm damage, even seven months after the hurricane. Farley Maxwell, Gulfeagle Supply, Tallahassee and a member of the Capital City Roofing and Sheet Metal Association (CRSA) as well as a scoutmaster, said “For us it’s been the busiest time of our lives, we’ve never seen so many damaged roofs.”

Back in 1985, Maxwell attended Wallwood camp. This winter he noticed the roofs were leaking when he accompanied his son to camp and was determined to help. Maxwell organized a crew of more than 40 roofers to repair the damages “devoting $60,000 worth of work for free because to them money just can’t buy fond memories,” Maxwell said.

Even with their busy schedules and other projects, 12 different roofing companies dedicated two full weekends to a place that is special to many of them.

“I looked out at all these different people, all of these different competitors coming together, working together. I call it a super crew,” Maxwell said.

And this super crew put into action the values they learned in Boy Scouts. “What you learn in scouting is giving back to others. That’s one of the key points. That’s what these guys have learned and in return have given back to us,” said Bob Norwillo, with the Wallwood Boy Scout Reservation.

“We’re gonna ensure that it has roofs on it for 60 years. That’s a lot of generations of kids. A lot of memories and bug bites,” said Maxwell.

The roofs were finished just in time for the camp season starting in June, ensuring more boys and girls can attend

Wallwood and learn the same valuable principles they did: leadership, giving back and community service.

Founders Day Party and Philanthropy

The annual Founders Day event at ABC Supply in Melbourne, FL is cause for celebration – and charitable outreach.

“It’s a fun time. We look forward to it,” Branch Manager Shane Meeks said of the party his branch of the ABC chain has hosted for the past seven years. Everyone is invited: workers, vendors, friends and family. ABC grills some burgers and dogs, organizes party games and gives out prizes to the winners.

Participants pay $1 to get in and many give an additional donation as well. Customers also can bring donations and leave them in the cardboard barrels at the store. All proceeds go to a charity chosen by the local branch.

This year’s event was held in June at Wickham Park in Melbourne and included a bounce house for the kids. About 400 people attended, Meeks said, and the event raised $2,100. The branch also collected canned goods through the month of June.

Both a check for the amount raised and the canned goods were presented to Stand Up to Hunger, a project of Second Harvest Food Bank. The choice of a charity is up to the individual branches, Meeks said, and his location is one of several that opted to participate.

Second Harvest is a nonprofit organization that collects, donates and distributes donated food to more than 550 feeding partners in Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia counties in Central Florida. Last year, Second Harvest served families, kids and seniors by providing some 52 million meals. Second Harvest is a member of Feeding America, a network of more than 200 food banks nationwide. In addition to food drives, Second Harvest also accepts individual donations.

The Melbourne ABC branch is proud to do its part to make Melbourne and Brevard County a better place. “Hunger is a real issue in our community,” Meeks said. “Some people have to choose between buying food and paying the rent or mortgage or even getting their medicine. If our food drive helps even some of those people, it will have been more than worthwhile.”

July 2019

After Hurricane and Scam, Collis Roofing and Suncoast Roofers Supply Repair Woman's Roof at No Cost

Hurricane season is here and many people are still waiting on their roofs to be repaired from last season's destruction.

Laura Miles (pictured below) thought her roof was being repaired, but it turned out to be a scam. Like so many others, Miles are her roof destroyed by Hurricane Michael. FEMA gave her a small check and a contractor promised her a new roof. Unfortunately for Miles, the contractor took advantage of her.

No, she is getting her roof repaired at no cost to her. Left with no means to pay for a new roof, Collis Roofing and Suncoast Roofers Supply stepped in to help get Miles a new roof.

"I am so lucky, I can't believe that I am getting a new roof and I'm very happy that I am and that someone's heart is in the right place," the Panama City Beach resident said.

President of Collis Roofing Wallace Fulton said "When we find somebody that is truly deserving that doesn't have any other resources, we can't turn our back. We have to help, it's just the right thing to do." Fulton said they try to donate a roof repair at least once a year.

TAMKO Donates $100,000 to Red Cross for Southwest Missouri Disaster Relief

TAMKO Building Products LLC is donating $100,000 to the Ozark Chapter of the American Red Cross for disaster relief efforts in three Southwest Missouri counties - Jasper, Newton and Barton. David Humphreys, TAMKO's President and CEO, presented the check to the Red Cross Ozark Chapter.

The gift comes just a week after damaging tornadoes hit a large swath of the Midwest, including the Southwest Missouri towns of Carl Junction, Oronogo and Golden City. The tornado outbreak occurred on the eight-year anniversary of the May 22, 2011 EF5 Joplin tornado, one of the deadliest and most damaging in recent history.

“We know firsthand the devastation these storms can bring, but we also know the difference that the Red Cross can make in helping people recover,” Humphreys said. “It’s not so distant a memory – we remember the outpouring of support after the Joplin tornado and we make this donation in the same spirit of kindness that our neighbors need so desperately right now.”

The Southwest Missouri towns affected by the tornadoes are near Joplin, where TAMKO was founded in 1944 and continues to operate numerous facilities. The Carl Junction tornado damaged an estimated 200 homes, 21 of them completely destroyed. Three people were killed and one seriously injured in the Golden City tornado later that same night. Both the Carl Junction and Golden City tornadoes have been rated EF3, and the Oronogo tornado is thought to have been an EF0.

While no TAMKO employees were injured or TAMKO facilities hit by these tornadoes, several employees did suffer significant damage to their homes and properties. Teams of TAMKO employees were in Carl Junction the day after the storm, helping co-workers and other neighbors with clean-up efforts. Those volunteer efforts continued through this week.

“We can’t say enough about the generosity of TAMKO and the Humphreys in this community, not just today, but in the past,” said Stacy Burks, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Southern Missouri, who accepted the donation check. “We’re so thankful for this gift – it’s going to help many people in their recovery and future disaster relief efforts.”

TAMKO has donated to the Red Cross in the past for disaster recovery efforts, including $1 million in 2011 for Joplin tornado recovery; $100,000 in 2011 for Alabama tornado recovery; $100,000 following the 2014 tornadoes in Baxter Springs, Kansas and Quapaw, Oklahoma; and $200,000 in 2017 for hurricanes Harvey and Maria relief efforts. 

June 2019

FRSA Members Take Care of Our Industry and Our Committees!
Another year has gone by and we’re getting ready for another exciting Convention at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center.

It has been quiet a year with all the code work and governmental legislation. I’m glad to say the FRSA Board, committees and staff have not only been looking out for the roofing industry, but have brought land for the new FRSA headquarters and designed the new building which will break ground this summer.

The folks in the FRSA are very community minded.

As President, I have chosen Our Daily Bread of Bradenton as my charity, which serves over 88,000 meals a year to the needy of our area.

The following are supporters from the FRSA membership who have been so generous. I want to thank them and give kudos for a worthy cause “Well Done.”

  • FRSA’s Young Professional Council
  • Gulfeagle Supply
  • Sal Delfino
  • Raymond Citron
  • Karen Rodman
  • Ron Kough
  • Buddy Cheaves
  • Melinda Dzenutis
  • Trent Cotney
  • Keith and Brian Swope
  • Jason Scarlette
  • George Ebersold
  • Charlie Kennedy
  • SPEC Building Material

Jack Manson, Bruce’s father, has volunteered for Our Daily Bread of Bradenton for over 40 years and at 91 years of age, is still actively involved.

Our Daily Bread of Bradenton is a community-driven organization devoted to feeding the hungry. They are supported by churches, individuals like you, support foundations, and numerous other community-oriented organizations

Organized in 1984, Our Daily Bread is a response to our community's need to feed the hungry regardless of race, color, or belief. Since then, with extremely limited resources and space, Our Daily Bread has served over 2,000,000 meals to needy men, women, and children in a storefront on 14th Street West in Bradenton, Fla. seven days a week including holidays. Our Daily Bread serves an average of 250 men, women, and children daily, 364 days a year.

They also have a grocery store "Loaves and Fishes" where families can shop free once a month for food items and fresh produce. The store has items not available from other food sources, such as peanut butter and jelly and produce. They served over 20,000 people through this program last year. No one is turned away, but in many instances, relief is only partial. Many need more than food.

To learn more about Our Daily Bread, visit www.ourdailybreadofbradenton.org.

 

May 2019

Dynasty Building Solutions, LLC Doing Their Part to Supports Cancer Research

Dynasty Building Solutions, LLC has joined a 10-week fundraising campaign team that will raise money to help patients in Tampa Bay and surrounding areas with co-pay assistance, gas cards to use to get to and from appointments, and to fund research to find cures for blood cancer through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Corporate support is vital to the success of this campaign and ultimately a chance to cure blood cancers. LLS is the fastest growing non-profit voluntary health organization dedicated to blood cancers. Since its founding in 1949, LLS has provided more than $1 billion for blood cancer research.

Polyglass Helps Fight Cancer with the Dolphins Cancer Challenge Partnership

Polyglass U.S.A., Inc., a leading manufacturer of roofing and waterproofing systems, announces its proud support of the Dolphins Cancer Challenge (DCC) for the third consecutive year. The Challenge took place at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on April 6th. As a “Fighter Partner,” Polyglass helps the DCC raise funds for innovative cancer research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Polyglass employees will walk, run, and bike as part of the charitable event.


“This opportunity to support the fight against cancer aligns perfectly with our values as a company,” says Scott Lelling, Director of Strategic Marketing for Polyglass U.S.A., Inc. “We are proud to support life-saving research that touches so many in our communities.”

The DCC is dedicated to improving lives by financially supporting cancer research at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center (SCCC) at the University of Miami. Since 2010, DCC participants have raised over 27.5 million dollars for the SCCC. For more information on the DCC visit https://dolphinscancerchallenge.com/.

It Takes A Village – Atlas Joins Team to Give WWII Vet a New Roof

In September 2017, Hurricane Irma pummeled the Caribbean with maximum sustained winds of 180 mph. The Category 5 storm demolished 95 percent of the small island of Barbuda before making landfall in the Florida Keys. As one of the most intense hurricanes in history, Irma left incredible devastation in her wake — killing more than 50 people and causing nearly $65 billion in damages.

One of the millions of homes in Irma’s path was that of 94-year-old World War II veteran Leo McLarney in Cutler Bay, FL, about 20 miles southwest of Miami. The hurricane-force winds left gaping holes in his roof, which led to mold.
Because he lives on a fixed income that goes toward his 24-hour at-home care, McLarney, who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor and fought in the Battle of Guadalcanal, was unable to afford the repairs to his home. So more than a year after the storm, his roof remained covered in blue tarp.

In early January 2019, CBS4 Miami aired a story about McLarney and donations poured in through Neighbors4Neighbors.org, a nonprofit created in 1992 in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. The organization connects South Floridians in need with people and companies that can help.

To get the work underway, John Pimentel, director of Miami-Dade County’s long-term disaster recovery group, FRIEND (Florida Regional Interfaith/Interagency Emergency Network in Disaster), organized a team. More than 50 companies wanted to help, so Pimentel started with the first to respond — Atlas Roofing. Adam Stanley, Territory Sales Representative for Atlas, then assisted Pimentel with much of the project management.

With the support of Frank Iammarino and Suncoast Roofers Supply, which supplied and delivered the Atlas products and other roofing materials, and Z Roofing, which donated the labor for the installation, McLarney finally got a new roof.

Pimentel said he’s never seen a project come together so fast. After the original CBS4 story aired January 2, an initial inspection was completed, measurements were taken, all of the supplies were ordered and delivered, and the work began less than two weeks later.

On Jan. 30, the new roof passed its final inspection. “A very special thanks to Leo McLarney for serving and protecting our country during one of the darkest times in world history, for his great sense of humor and for allowing us to be part of his life for a little bit,” Pimentel said. “His smile and amazing character sure touched every single person involved with this project!”

 

April 2019

Perkins Roofing Participates in Local Make-A-Wish Foundation Fundraising Drive

Perkins Roofing Corporation, based in Miami, Fla., is a high ranking participant in the Roofing Contractors Association of South Florida (RCASF) Make-A-Wish Corporate Challenge to benefit the Make-A-Wish Southern Florida, Inc. The donation challenge, which has been running since the fall of 2018, benefits local South Florida terminally-ill children and their families by granting “wishes” to brighten spirits and fulfill children’s biggest wishes such as, being a princess for a day, visiting Disney World, meeting a favorite celebrity, and more. Each roofing contractor in the corporate challenge is given an individual fundraising goal of $5,000. Perkins Roofing recently celebrated its halfway milestone and is excited to contribute more through every sale it makes until the end of the challenge in June 2019.

“It’s great participating in such a wonderful cause and donating to an organization that truly brings the biggest smiles to kids and their families. I’m so grateful Perkins Roofing belongs to a thoughtful organization (RCASF) that chooses to participate in giving back to the community year after year,” says Tim Kanak, Perkins Roofing Vice President. “Our customers love participating as well and feel good knowing a percentage of their new roof or roof repair cost directly benefited an ill child in need. It’s good vibes all around.”

The RCASF Corporate Challenge began in the Fall of 2018 and will run until June 2019 with top contributors being announced at the annual RCASF Fishing Tournament in the Florida Keys. The overall corporate challenge goal is set high at $25,000 and is expected to be reached. The RCASF Corporate Challenge continues to rank as a top team contributor in South Florida as of March 2019.

To learn more about the RCASF Corporate Challenge benefiting Make-A-Wish Southern Florida, Inc., please visit

https://secure2.wish.org/site/TR?pg=team&fr_id=3108&team_id=17897

TAMKO Donates Roof to Surprise Project for Single Mother with Failing Roof

TAMKO shingles now cover what was gaping holes and the exposed roof deck of Phoenix single mother Rachel’s home only a few weeks ago. Rachel was the beneficiary of a new TAMKO roof and other home repairs during a Phoenix-area 3TV news feature called Arizona's Family Surprise Squad.

Rachel had just found out she was pregnant with her second child when her fiancé was killed by a drunk driver in 2015. Recent storms tore a hole in her roof and water started leaking into her home, causing further damage. She was nominated for the Surprise Squad by her mother.

The repairs to Rachel’s home were made possible through donations of product and labor from members of the Arizona Roofing Contractors Association’s Young Professionals group, including TAMKO Building Products, Inc. who provided shingles for the roof.

“This story touched all our hearts,” said TAMKO President and CEO David Humphreys. “We’re so glad that we were able to play a part in helping ease the burden from this young mother’s shoulders. And we feel proud to be a part of a group like the Arizona Roofing Contractors Association that is always looking to make a difference in their communities.”

The ARCA Young Professionals group has been involved in several charitable projects in recent years, but the group’s leadership knew there was something special about this situation as soon as they heard Rachel’s story.

Eric Perry, COO of Azul Roofing Solutions and member of the ARCA Young Professionals, said, “The response was overwhelming with people willing to step up and help. I couldn’t be happier with the way it came together. Any time we have the ability to use our skills in this trade to help someone, especially so deserving, like Rachel, it’s a no-brainer. Her response made it all the better too. It just made us want to do more and more for her.”

March 2019

Roofing Contractors Unite Together as #CancerFighters  

Everyone has a cancer story... this is theirs.

In Sept 2014, while training to ride in the Dolphins Cancer Challenge, John Chase, Past President of Roofing Contractors Association of South Florida, was diagnosed with Stage 3 Esophageal Cancer. He was given a 16% chance of survival, which at the time, seemed like a death sentence. His life changed forever that day as his cancer journey began. A circle of friends, family and an incredible medical team surrounded John over the next year and even though he had several complications and near-death experiences, he prevailed. After chemo, radiation and robotic surgery (to remove his entire stomach, and a good part of his esophagus and intestines), he is proud to say he is CANCER FREE!

A few of his closest friends joined John the next year to train for the Dolphins Cancer Challenge, an annual fundraiser where 100% of money raised, goes to research all types of cancer. They met for group rides, and although most of them had not ridden a bike for any distance, they trained for the 24-mile ride. After experiencing the feeling of crossing the finish line and the pure joy of being a part of something so incredible, they knew that was something they wanted EVERYONE to experience. They finished out the 2016 fundraising total with $10,000.

Team "Cancer Fighting Contractors" was born the following year so that as many people that could be involved would be included. They had 27 riders and walkers on the 2017 team and raised $20,000. The team had continued growth in 2018, with 67 riders and walkers and raising $30,000. The team consists of contractors and business associates. Several roofing contractors from the local roofing association, Roofing Contractors Association of South Florida, joined the team. They banned together for a bigger mission than themselves or their companies. Roofing Companies that would normally be competitors joined forces to fight cancer together. Roofing companies Chase Roofing, Earl Johnston Roofing, Rapid Roof Systems, Empire Roofing, joined their roofing vendors, ABC Supply, JGA Beacon Roofing Supply, Gulf Eagle Supply, Suncoast Supply, iRoofing, GAF and Boral Manufacturing for this cause.  In 2018, there were three cancer survivors on the team: Erika Utter, Bridget Keller and John Chase.

The 2019 team has a goal of 100 riders and walkers and a fundraising goal of $35,000. They already have 48 team members so they are on our way to reaching this year’s goal. The magic that has been created is an awesome feeling and everyone that participates is amazed at how wonderful they feel to be a part of this team. They feel extremely blessed to have such a wonderful group that keeps growing.

On April 6, 2019, they will join the Miami Dolphins and thousands of South Florida residents to tackle cancer in their community. Over the last seven years, the Dolphins Cancer Challenge has raised over $27.5 million with 100% of participant-raised funds going directly to cancer research at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.  Everyone that chooses to ride, run, walk, volunteer or donate, they are all fighting cancer.

Wish Upon a Star” event raises $80K for Children’s Home Society

Dale Tadlock has a special connection to the Children’s Home Society of Florida. The owner and president of Tadlock Roofing said he would “never forget” a call he received from the CHS director at the time. There was a little girl in Naples who had special needs who needed a home. Tadlock and his wife adopted Isabella. They later adopted their other youngest daughter through CHS.

Tadlock Roofing was the title sponsor of “Wish Upon a Star,” a fundraising event for CHS.

“I was very honored and felt very proud to be a part of the event and the organization that does so much for our children across the state,” Tadlock said. “Children are in a situation, unlike adults, where they’re more helpless. They can’t help themselves like an adult can. To be in that situation, I feel like they need help and they need hope.”

The event, which had to be rescheduled because of Hurricane Michael, brought together nearly 300 sponsors, donors, staff and community leaders. Local restaurants and brewery catered the event.

“Because CHS is a state-wide organization, this is an opportunity to connect with local community partners, advocates, sponsors and those who give money and talent resources,” said Jennifer McGovern, the special events coordinator for CHS. “We want to make sure we bring them all together in one room so they have an opportunity to talk to each and about why they’re involved.”

The night raised about $80,000. That money will go toward CHS programs such as community partnership schools.

CHS is always looking for volunteers, McGovern said. There are opportunities for campus cleanup and internships at all levels. There are open seats on its board of directors.

"Whatever you have to give or want to give," she said, "we have a need for it."

 

February 2019

Stormseal Supports Donalsonville Hurricane Hero Joe Fletcher in His Community Rebuilding Mission

Hurricane Michael wrought inconceivable destruction on the small farming community of Donalsonville in Seminole County, Georgia. While the municipality lies more than three hours inland from the coast, the mega-storm which made landfall in the early hours of October 10th 2018 had somehow lost almost none of its intensity when 150 mph winds carved a path of devastation through the once picturesque - now barren and windswept - country town later that day.

Joe Fletcher is a local contractor who lives in Donalsonville with his three children, right next door to his parents, and he's never been more grateful for this proximity.

"I was here, to begin with, but when the roof started coming off, we went to my brothers. Thank Jesus my mother and father live next door to me, that's where we've been staying."

Many of Fletcher's family, friends and neighbors may be thanking him more than anyone else as the roofing contractor has spent every available moment since the storm hit going from house to house, using tarps to try and protect those whose houses are still standing.

One of Fletcher's clients had heard through the grapevine about a new make-safe system called Stormseal. After getting the tip-off after a hard day of tarping, Fletcher sent an email to Stormseal managing director Matthew Lennox to tell him his story and ask if Stormseal could help.

Stormseal is a strong polyethylene film that covers a damaged structure, staying in place until permanent repairs can be made. Manufactured from low-density polyethylene resins that are combined with fire-retardant and ultraviolet-resistant additives, the resulting mix forms a strong plastic film when applied on a damaged roof or wall, enhancing the structure’s strength without damaging underlying materials. Designed to replace tarps that often flap, leak and rip, leading to further property damage, Stormseal helps roofers to better manage reconstruction efforts following severe weather events.

Matthew Lennox happened to be less than two hours away and moved by the plight of the roofer, agreed to drive to Donalsonville to meet him. He was instantly impressed with the roofer's spirit of generosity.

"He'd been so busy helping out other people in the community he hadn't even had the time to think about his property. He's a good bloke. He's a good person. He's lost pretty much the lot but since the storm happened, he's been out around the clock, helping people put tarps on their roofs,” Lennox noted.

Lennox had the opportunity to meet with Joe Fletcher's family, his mother, father, brother and three children and had a first-hand insight into the impact of the hurricane.

"Joe's Mother told me she had not had the courage yet to go outside, she simply could not stand the sight of devastation surrounding her property. She said she had such a lovely garden. And she just couldn't bear to look at the space where it used to be. I asked Joe if he was insured and he said they always talked about it but he never did take it out,” Lennox stated.

The Stormseal Director said he was staggered by the severity of the destruction.

"Joe's house is blown apart. There are trees ripped up all around. He's lost everything. I heard it was once a serene country landscape, green all over with lots of trees. But when I arrived there was nothing like that. When I turned up, the place looked like it had been napalmed. Everything was dead. Nearly all the houses were damaged. The ones that were still standing all had some form of temporary roof protection,” Lennox stated.

Fletcher's kindness is not an anomaly. News outlets have reported on numerous acts of generosity and neighborly goodwill with many in the town pitching in to help cut up fallen trees and lend a helping hand.

Lennox explained to Fletcher the benefits of using Stormseal and how he could register for training but soon realized that he wanted to find a way to give a helping hand to the man who had helped so many.

"Driving home that night I couldn't believe what I had just witnessed, how displaced the community was and that this was just one story of the hundreds of thousands affected by Hurricane Michael. The next day I rang Joe and offered to pay for his training in Orlando and told him Stormseal would donate a Stormseal start-up kit so he could continue to assist with relief efforts with a greater set of resources,” Lennox noted.

"The tarps are going to be on homes for a long time because there have been so many people affected. The tarps will fail. They won't last three months. Stormseal lasts at least a year, which will give Joe and his community some security and peace of mind while they try to get back into some kind of normality. It's better to be able to focus on permanent repairs rather than the constant crisis management of replacing blow away and leaking tarps."

The donation from Stormseal was welcomed by Joe. He said he would take any help he could get to assist in getting his community back on their feet.

"All we've done since the storm is try to help out where we can. I believe Stormseal will help a lot, it'll be a nice tool to have,” commented Fletcher.

 

VFW Post 2185 receives a new roof for free

Hurricane Michael blew the roof off of VFW Post 2185 in Panama City and members weren't sure if they would be able to reopen until CMR Construction and Roofing came along to fix their roof for free.

Mary Bizien, of CMR Construction said, "We're excited beyond belief to do this for these people because we know that they need this building. This is their second home, they come together. It's actually a place where they get healing too because they get to sit down and talk with one another about their war stories and what they've experienced and they need a gathering place and this is it."

Officials with the post say they had a wind exclusion in their insurance policy, so they wouldn't have been able to replace it on their own.

They say the post is more than just a building.

Jamie Warrick, the Quartermaster for VFW Post 2185 said, "This is a family for a lot of veterans. Some veterans don't have that family structure that they can go to so this is their livelihood for some people. This generates funds so we can do other programs to help other people."

Other people also came in to help the post. A group called All Hands and Hearts came in to help clean out the interior.

Emily Wilmoth from All Hands and Hearts said, "It's good to have some places that help out the entire community and it's not just one homeowner, it's something that means a lot to a lot of people. So, if we can help in any way, it means a lot to our organization."

Officials with the post hope to reopen by May.

 

December 2018

Saint Raphel Roofing Inc.

Jorge Albinagorta and the crew from Saint Raphel Roofing Inc. in Fort Myers have been generously giving back for the last four years and note that it is an incredible feeling. "We are involved with our local Habitat for Humanity Chapter as well as other organizations that we help to provide lower cost labor rates as well as free work when needed," stated Albinagorta.

"In 2015 we went to Rwamagana, Rwanda, to build a school for Youth for Christ. Below is a picture of the building we built including, of course, the roof and the pictures below that is a photo from this year of the building been used
with 300 plus kids getting their education."

"In 2016 we went to Arua, Uganda on the border with South Sudan, close to the Congo, to build a medical facility in the Rhino camp for the civil war refugees for Refuges International."

"In 2017 we went to Rwamagana, Rwanda, to build another school for Youth for Christ. This year, we went to Kayonza, Rwanda to build a Church and boys/girls dormitories for one of the Africa New Life school complexes."

 

Venture Construction Group of Florida and Habitat for Humanity Partnership

Venture Construction Group of Florida (VCGFL) has partnered with Habitat for Humanity South Palm Beach County and launched a series of pro-bono construction and roofing projects for South Florida residents in need. VCGFL provided a new roof to one of Habitat’s very first clients to kick off National Volunteer Month.

“At Venture, we are committed to giving back and empowering others. We are dedicated to consistently building relationships with amazing nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity to support all the work that they do in our communities,” says Stephen Shanton, president and CEO of Venture Construction Group of Florida.

Local Delray Beach resident and Habitat recipient Ruth Jayes has come a long way since beginning her first partnership with Habitat for Humanity in the 1980s. Over 30 years ago, Jayes was in a violent relationship and living in an Aid to Victims of Domestic Violence (AVDA) shelter before moving on and qualifying for her first home with Habitat for Humanity. Being accepted into Habitat’s Homeowner Partnership Program changed her life and the life of her daughter. After establishing her independence, she went on to obtain an Associate’s degree, then a Bachelor’s degree, then a Master’s degree in Business. Jayes held a successful career with a Health Insurance Claims Company in Deerfield Beach. Jayes instilled the value of education into her family. Ruth’s daughter went on to earn her Doctorate in Education from Nova Southeastern University. Now retired with health issues, Jayes recently experienced severe damage to her roof from Hurricane Irma.

“If a roof is not in good condition in Florida, insurance typically doesn’t extend the policy. It’s imperative to get frequent property inspections not only to keep your policy intact, but also to prevent future leaks that deteriorate your property,” says Shanton.

Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County partners with families in need to build affordable homes together. Each Habitat partner family is required to invest a minimum of 400 sweat equity hours of their own labor into the construction of homes before being eligible to purchase their home utilizing a 30 year, no profit, no interest loan. Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit and financed with affordable loans. The homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments are used to build more Habitat houses. Habitat relies on financial contributions from generous donors, both individual and corporate as well as volunteers. 

Through the HABITAT HAMMERS BACK initiative, Habitat for Humanity is deploying trained Habitat “Disaster Corps” volunteers responding to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria helping families to clean up and prepare for the rebuilding effort to come. In Florida, Habitat is conducting rapid assessments of Hurricane Irma damage and helping clean out homes damaged by winds and flood waters. Habitat’s long-term post-disaster recovery efforts include repair of damaged homes and construction of new affordable homes.

Jacksonville Veteran Gets New Roof  

88-year-old Wilson Bailie lives in the Hillcrest area. Bailie has limited mobility, and in addition to his roof needing to be replaced, his backyard was overgrown, and he was receiving warnings from the city.

The FOP teamed up with Southern Coast Roofing to spruce his house up. The program called "Housetops for Heroes" provides free roofs for retired public safety members and veterans who can't fix their own homes.

Bailie's father was in the Jacksonville Police Department in the from the 1930s until the 1950s.

Bailie joined the Army in 1948 and retired in 1969. The 88-year-old has served overseas six times, saying he's enjoyed every minute of it.

GAF Announces Hurricane Michael Disaster Assistance Efforts

GAF, the largest roofing and waterproofing manufacturer in North America, has made a commitment of $1 million in total assistance to support Hurricane Michael recovery efforts. GAF’s support comes in the form of direct relief, a $250,000 donation to Team Rubicon, and in-kind donations of roofing materials to multiple relief organizations. 

Northwest Florida is home to dozens of GAF factory-certified contractors and distribution partners, as well as the thousands of customers they serve. This commitment is part of GAF’s ongoing disaster relief efforts to support their employees, partners and the communities where they operate. 

“It has been incredibly difficult for us to watch the devastation of Hurricane Michael, especially after witnessing the impact of Hurricane Florence. Only weeks ago it had a major impact on Burgaw, N.C. and our colleagues who work at our manufacturing plant there are still dealing with the aftermath,” said Jim Schnepper, president of GAF. “Protecting what matters most is at the core of what we do, and that is why we are committing our expertise, products and financial resources to help our partners and their communities in Florida along the road to recovery.” 

GAF’s support of Team Rubicon will help its team of skilled veteran volunteers to continue assisting the most vulnerable communities affected by the storm. Team Rubicon is actively working to help survivors of Hurricane Michael gain access to their homes, clear the damage, and begin the recovery process. 

“GAF continues to be an incredible partner to us, once again committing their financial resources and roofing products in support of Team Rubicon’s mission,” said David Burke, vice president of Programs and Field Operations at Team Rubicon. “Team Rubicon is providing immediate assistance in the wake of Hurricane Michael and thanks to the GAF’s ongoing support, we’re also prepared to support the long-term recovery needs of survivors. A year later, Team Rubicon is also rebuilding homes in Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico in areas still reeling from the 2017 hurricane season.” 

As communities look to rebuild, GAF has also committed to donating enough roofing shingles to replace the roofs of more than 200 homes in the hardest hit communities. The product will be distributed through various partners, including Good360, a global leader in product philanthropy and purposeful giving. Good360 works with recovery agencies, local recovery groups, and vetted nonprofits to make sure donated products have maximum impact by making them available at the right place and at the right time. 

In addition to its financial and product donations, GAF delivered relief items - food, water, diapers, pet food, etc. - to centers located at customer sites in the hardest hit parts of Florida. These centers were established by these customers to assist their employees and communities recover from the storm.

 

November 2018

GAF's Response to Hurricane Florence to Address the Long Road to Recovery

GAF, the largest roofing and waterproofing manufacturer in North America, has made a commitment of $1 million in total assistance in support of Hurricane Florence recovery efforts. GAF's support is being delivered in the form of direct relief, financial contributions and in-kind donations of roofing materials.

GAF operates a plant and employs 224 people in Burgaw, NC, which was severely impacted by the storm. Burgaw is a town of approximately 4,000 residents located 25 miles north of Wilmington, NC.

"After two weeks of devastating floods, the full impact of Hurricane Florence is just now starting to be known," said Jim Schnepper, President, GAF. "In Burgaw and throughout the Carolinas, many have still not been able to return to their homes, and some never will due to the massive destruction left in Hurricane Florence's wake. That is why our focus is on providing sustained support – so that we can help our employees and the Burgaw community rebound and, ultimately, rebuild stronger than ever."

At the center of GAF's commitment is the establishment of an employee relief fund to provide much needed financial assistance to those experiencing hardship and needing to rebuild or repair their homes as a result of Hurricane Florence.

As the community looks to rebuild, GAF has committed to provide enough roofing shingles to replace the roofs of more than 200 homes in the most vulnerable communities. This includes an initial donation of more than 300,000 square feet of shingles to Good360, a global leader in product philanthropy and purposeful giving. Good360 works with recovery agencies, local recovery groups and nonprofits to determine exactly what's needed and when, ensuring that GAF's giving efforts are both effective and efficient.

In addition, the company has made financial contributions to nonprofits providing food, shelter and other relief services to the Burgaw community, and has provided direct shipments of relief items to support GAF employees and their families.

Tadlock Roofing Aims to Combat Food Deserts in Tallahassee

According to Second Harvest of the Big Bend, Leon County ranks third for food insecurity of the state’s 67 counties, and “It’s only getting worse,” says Rick Minor, Executive Director of Second Harvest. The closing of two supermarkets in Northwest Tallahassee are being blamed for leaving thousands of residents with no nearby source of healthy foods. Leon County Schools made local roofing contractor, Tadlock Roofing, aware of the need at Amos P. Godby High School, and Dale Tadlock, President and Owner, is rising-to-the-occasion.

“These are children who don’t have a lot of food to eat so getting the proper nutrition is going to not only help them perform better in school but also make them healthier individuals,” says Tadlock.

Tadlock Roofing held a two-week food drive, July 16-27, aiming to collect 2,000 nonperishable, approved food items and succeeded. Tadlock presented Amos P. Godby Principal, Desmond Cole, with a $2,000 check on behalf of Tadlock Roofing along with the 2,000 community-funded food items to supplement the school’s needs.

“I have been in business in Tallahassee for 39 years and have seen firsthand how giving our community can be if they are made aware of a need,” says Tadlock. “So, I already knew we (Tadlock Roofing) were going to help monetarily, but wanted to give our friends and neighbors the opportunity to give back as well.”

According to Leon County School District, the high school has been collecting food for the past couple of years for their pantry, which takes about $4,000 to run each year. The pantry feeds roughly 25 families throughout a school year who would likely go without on the weekends.

“The generosity of local businesses like Tadlock Roofing is astounding and so greatly needed, says Rocky Hanna, superintendent of Leon County Schools.” We have students who are suffering all over and we are starting with Amos P. Godby High School.”

TAMKO Supports Honor Flights for Veterans

TAMKO Building Products, Inc. has provided financial and flight support for Honor Flight trips through Central Missouri Honor Flight, one of the 131 hubs in the national Honor Flight Network that operates in 46 states throughout the U.S. The Honor Flight Network helps transport America’s veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifice.

“Veterans protect our freedoms and all that we love in America, which is why TAMKO, a company proudly based in the heartland of the USA, is dedicated to continually honoring veterans,” said TAMKO President and CEO David Humphreys. “As a company, we’ve been transporting wounded veterans and their families through the Veterans Airlift Command Hero Flights program for more than a decade now. And, we hire veterans. In fact, more than 12 percent of our workforce has a military service background.”

Additionally, TAMKO provides annual support and volunteers for the Field of Honor event in Frederick, Maryland, a tribute honoring those who died serving their country and a fundraiser to support men and women returning home from combat. TAMKO also recently donated building materials to a Homes for Heroes project in Colorado benefitting Sergeant Kristie Ennis, a Marine Corps veteran seriously injured while serving in Afghanistan in 2012.

Since the inception of the Honor Flight Network in 2005, more than 200,000 veterans have been flown to their memorials, at no cost to the veterans. Currently, more than 35,000 veterans remain on a flight wait list. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with veterans who may be terminally ill. The Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization run primarily by volunteers and funded by charitable donations.


October 2018

Venture Construction Group of FL Raises Awareness for Domestic Violence with Annual Fundraiser

In 2013, after fighting in a violent domestic dispute to protect her children, Boca Raton, FL, resident Gemma Burkaloff lost her life at the hands of her husband.

This tragedy struck FRSA member Venture Construction Group of Florida (VCGFL), Boca Raton, especially hard. Operations manager Sandra Lawson is Burkaloff’s sister. She now is the co-founder of the Gemma’s Angels Foundation, which launched in 2014. It is dedicated to raising awareness to end domestic violence in honor of Burkaloff’s heroic fight to save her children.

Each year, VCGFL hosts a fundraiser to benefit the Gemma’s Angels Foundation as well as Aid to Victims of Domestic Violence (AVDA). AVDA provides a state-certified domestic violence shelter, offering a comprehensive array of services for victims of domestic violence, including a 24-hour crisis hotline, emergency and transitional housing, advocacy, counseling, and support to help them live violence free and self-sufficient lives.

The fundraiser, The Kendra Gives Back Party, took place on December 13, 2017, and was co-hosted with leading fashion accessories designer Kendra Scott. The party was open to the public and included a shopping event featuring Kendra Scott accessories. Twenty percent of all sales proceeds went to benefit Gemma’s Angels Foundation and AVDA. The event raised $5,000 with $2,500 donated to each organization.

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, more than one in three women and more than one in four men in the U.S. have experienced physical violence and/or stalking by a spouse or significant other in their lifetime. The National Coalition of Domestic Violence states domestic violence is prevalent in every community, gender, race, religion or nationality. “It is so important to continuously raise awareness about domestic violence. This is a tragic and pervasive issue that isn’t going to magically disappear,” Lawson says. “It doesn’t affect one person. It affects an entire family.”

Plans for a 2018 VCGFL Kendra Gives Back Party are currently being finalized and will take place later this year.

In addition, VCGFL and Gemma’s Angels will sponsor and participate in the Take a Stand Against Domestic Violence Walk in Marco Island, FL, in October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. VCGL is planning a toy drive to benefit children living at AVDA in December. For more information, visit www.vcgfl.com.  

 

Sutter Roofing Co. of Florida Donates New Roofs for Miracle League

Sutter Roofing Company of Florida, Sarasota, donated their materials and time to show support and give back to their community to service an incredible organization. The Miracle League of Manasota is an organization that gives all school-aged children with disabilities in Sarasota and Manatee counties the opportunity play baseball. Today there are roughly 14,000 children living with disables in the Sarasota community who haven’t been given the opportunity to participate in a baseball game, until now.

When Sutter Roofing heard Miracle League was coming to Manasota, they wanted to see what they could do to better their community and bring the beloved game of baseball to everyone. Sutter Roofing then teamed up with Miracle League to do what they do best by installing roofs on the new facility, which hosted their opening game in March.

FRSA members how have charity project that they would like to share, are encouraged to send information to Lisa Pate, lisapate@floridaroof.com with high resolutions pictures and information about the project. We’re proud to share stories about our members giving back to the community!

 

September 2018

RCASF 39th Annual Fishing Tournament Raises $100,000 to Grant 20 “Wishes”

For the second year in a row, Roofing Contractors Association of South Florida (RCASF) donated $100,000 to Make-a-Wish Foundation Southern Florida; making RCASF the largest non-corporate contributor to the foundation. 

RCASF is an FRSA Affiliate and is composed of charitable contractors and associate members who work together for the benefit of children struggling with life threatening illness in our community. In addition to the $100,000 awarded to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, RCASF contributed $15,000 to the International Game Fish Association’s Junior Angler Division. (IGFA)

This year’s Fishing Tournament was held at Whale Harbor Marina and Event
Center in Islamorada, Florida on June 9th. The Awards Ceremony was held at the IGFA on August 1st.   Norm Wedderburn, CEO & President of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Southern Florida said, “RCASF truly believes in our wish granting mission. Because of this year’s fishing tournament, we will grant 20 transformational wishes for local children who have critical illnesses. We are very grateful to RCASF for their continued support.”

“We are inspired by the work Make-A-Wish does to brighten the lives of children diagnosed with critical illnesses,” said Gene Fall, President of Certified Roofing and RCASF Fishing Tournament Committee Chairman. “We understand the important role emotional health plays in overcoming illness. We are proud to support programs that can provide hope, inspiration and happiness, especially in the lives of children.” As a non-profit receiving no government funding, Make-A-Wish relies on the support of donors to make wish granting possible.

In 2015, the RCASF Fishing Tournament Committee initiated their Signature Sponsor Program with Earl W. Johnston Roofing gifting $5000 or “one wish” to a child in need. The program expanded to eleven Signature Sponsors each donating one “wish”: Certified Roofing, Chase Roofing & Contracting, CJM Roofing, Earl W. Johnston Roofing, Empire Roofing Companies, Frank H. Furman Insurance, Inc., Hi-Tech Roofing & Sheet Metal, Seeber Roofing, SPEC Building Materials, Weather-Tech Roofing, and Barry & Gail Birenbaum/Anthony Utter and Wendy Harvest.

Additionally, a group donation for a Signature Sponsorship was achieved when Anthony Utter and Lynne Johnston called for 50 people to walk forward with $100 each during the Tournament Banquet. “What a sight it was to see a room full of roofing contractors, local distributors and vendors all running to the stage to donate $100 to help these children who are facing a health crisis,” said Dave Clark, District Manager, Beacon Roofing Supply and Senior Tournament Committee Member.

The RCASF Fishing Committee has already begun planning for next year’s tournament on June 8, 2019 with the goal of brightening the lives of even more children. They encourage donations of fishing related items for auction and financial sponsorships. If you would like to contribute, please contact RCASF.

Central Florida Members Pull Together to Reroof Home of a Consumer Who Was Ripped-Off

FRSA has held the position that Assignment of Benefits (AOBs) are mostly used by unscrupulous contractors (or those acting as contractors) to harm unknowing consumers who have not done due diligence prior to hiring a contractor. Fraudulent claims run especially high in the plumbing and roofing trades. FRSA Legislative Counsel has been working hard over the past few years to educate members of the legislature about damage AOBs can cause when no used responsibly.

In April, a central Florida local news station ran an article about an elderly woman who signed an AOB two years ago and had not received any help from the roofing contractor, although they had cashed her check in November of 2016. In addition to telling the consumer that the insurance company was holding them up, they never pulled a permit for the job. In addition, the consumer now has interior damage as the roof leaks severally when it rains. Local action reporter Louis Bolden, Channel 9 (www.clickorlando.com) covered the story in April, leaving yet another bad story aired about bad roofing contractors. Unfortunately, no one covers the thousands of roofs that are installed every year by licensed and insured roofing contractors, but one damaging report affect all that good that our industry does.

To assist the consumer, Trevor Switzer, Gold Key Roofing LLC, Orlando and Matt Criswell, WeatherShield Roofing Group, Longwood, spearheaded the project to provide the consumer with a new roof.

The week prior to the reroof, FRSA sent out an email request to contractors in Central Florida (members and nonmembers alike) asking for monetary donations to help pay for the repair. The response was amazing! Within one hour of the email request, there were more than enough donations to pay for the project and all the ancillary items (please see list below for all donors). The first call I received (within minutes) was from Chantelle Fernandez, Integrity Roofing and Gutters, Orlando, who offered to pay for the complete roof. Before I could provide her with the information on the size of the home and anticipate materials, five more emails and two other calls came in offering support. Special thanks to Atlas Roofing Corp. for providing the shingles, Beacon Roofing Supply for providing most of the additional materials needed, Gold Key Roofing for the labor, and Kennedy Skylights for a solar attic fan. WeatherShield Roofing Group handled the permits and paperwork. Due to the extended period of time her roof leaked, there was a large amount of rotten wood that needed to be replaced on the roof. The caused the project to run long, but was a necessary repair.

Once the project was completed, reporter Louis Bolden came back out and spoke with the homeowner who was overjoyed. She stated that she felt safe now that her home was once more secured and looked forward to a sound sleep know that all was well with her home.

In the meantime, FRSA Legal Counsel Trent Cotney has sent a demand letter on behalf of FRSA requesting that funds be returned to the consumer, as she’ll now need it to repair the inside of her home. And, by the way, her insurance company dropped her after 30 years with no claims.

FRSA thanks the many generous people who made this project possible, including:

 

May 2018

Reliant Roofing Announces Second Annual Every Shingle Heart Initiative

Reliant Roofing is pleased to announce its second annual Every Shingle Heart Initiative. This program was created in 2017 as a way for the Jacksonville-based company to give back to the community by providing families in need with new roofs.

In its inaugural year, Every Shingle Heart Initiative provided three deserving families with brand new roofs installed by Reliant Roofing. This year, they will select three more local families to receive free roofs. The company plans to continue to grow its Every Shingle Heart Initiative well into the future.

CEO Sean Shapiro says, “We were thrilled with the success of our first Every Shingle Heart Initiative in 2017. The way the community and other businesses came together was truly inspiring. We were able to provide brand new roofs for three remarkable local families in the first year of our initiative. Seeing their reaction and the relief they felt at having new, safe and dry roofs only reinforced our commitment to Every Shingle Heart.”

Nominations for Every Shingle Heart will be accepted at www.reliantroofing.com from April 9 through July 31, 2018. Anyone can participate by nominating someone in need of a new roof such as a family member, friend or neighbor. When voting has been completed, three local families will be chosen to receive brand new GAF roofs installed by Reliant Roofing.

Reliant Roofing is a GAF Master Elite Certified roofer serving the Greater Jacksonville area. For more information about Every Shingle Heart and Reliant Roofing, please visit www.reliantroofing.com, www.facebook.com/ReliantRoofing1 or call 904-297-2472.

‘Chet the Vet’ Now Has a New Home

It was a big day for Polk County veteran, Chet LeBrun. The 97-year old was facing eviction from his home because of hurricane damage he couldn’t fix. Thanks to two local businessmen and a lot of good friends, Chet now has a good home.

Chet’s home was in shambles, thanks to Hurricane Irma. The mobile home park, Cypress Shores, wanted Chet to fix his dilapidated home, or leave the premises. But at his age, finances are tight and his physical ability, even tighter.

So, his caretaker and power of attorney stepped in, putting out a call for action on social media back in February. Since then, hundreds have stepped forward donating time and money, including two businessmen who went into overdrive.

“I agreed I would go over there and look at it and try to do something to get the park owners off of his back,” Donnie Harp, with Imperial Roofing of Polk Co. said. He stepped in along with another Polk business owner, Tim Leopard. “Once we realized how big the need was, we decided to step in and do a little bit more,” Leopard said. To these two strangers, doing more, meant a brand new donated home. “He had gone without help for so long that we were willing to jump in and show him that people care,” Leopard said.

With help, Chet Lebrun moved into a new mobile home park, with neighbors welcoming him left and right.