June 2006


President's corner

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President's Corner

BAWA has a long history of participating in community outreach projects. Members have come together every year for the last thirteen years to participate with Rebuilding Together (formerly known as Christmas in April) on the peninsula and in San Francisco.

Hats off to the many volunteers who participated in this year's Rebuilding Together event. Fred Reicher, our fearless leader, spent countless hours behind the scenes with assistant Tony Fanning to make Saturday April 29 a success. This year's event took place at the oldest fire station in San Francisco. The fire station is used by the San Francisco Fire Department for toy storage and it is also used by the sisters of Mother Theresa to feed the homeless every day. The toys are given to children from low income families at Christmas and are distributed to children throughout the year at a burn treatment center and a children's hospital.

Twenty nine BAWA members converged at the fire station to install 60 linear feet of counter tops, add a room full of storage shelves, and performed many other miscellaneous jobs. Counter tops legs were preassembled at John Blackmore well equipped shop a couple of weeks before the Rebuilding Together weekend. The Monday prior to the big day, 10 BAWA members prepared the site by installing the counter top legs and installed electrical receptacles in two offices that did not have a single outlet. The two offices obtained all of their electrical power from an extension cord that came from the floor below and entered the office thru a window.

On the Rebuilding Together day, an army of over 60 painters were ready to paint everything that did not move. Our brave group of BAWA volunteers quickly built racks of shelving units while completely surrounded by painters. Other BAWA members assemble a single face frame that was nearly 50 foot in length with many pocket screws. A few BAWA members who remained stationary a little too long were accidentally painted by a few of the less experienced painters. A painter who apparently may have become a little to excited, stepped directly into a 5 gallon container of paint. Everyone's morale was lifted at lunch time when they descended to the dining room to find an incredible gourmet meal cooked by some of the Firemen. A few hours later, tools were packed up and the old fire station had been completed transformed. As we were leaving, many homeless people were lined up outside waiting to receive some food.

It was a reminder of how fortunate we are and it made me grateful that I was able to help in some small way.

Bill Henzel