Bob Klatt approached the Lowe’s display at a recent event at Troutman ESC Park and asked for help.
Klatt was not asking for help for himself but for the American Legion Building in Troutman, said Misty White of the Lowe’s store in Troutman. White talked to her manager, Brian Levy, who is a veteran.
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“He thought it was an excellent idea,” she said.
That simple request led to a larger outpouring of volunteers to do renovations at the more-than-50-year-old building.
Those volunteers, both from Lowe’s and individual contractors, pitched in Wednesday to replace the flooring in the kitchen, redo the bathrooms and add some curb appeal to the outside with new plants and other landscaping, White said. This is part of the Lowe’s Heroes community project.
The goal, said post historian Lee McDaniel, is to give the American Legion Post an updated place to meet but, hopefully, to bring in those interested in renting the building for parties, meetings or other gatherings.
One of those lending expertise and muscle to the project Wednesday was David Goodman of Goodman Construction.
“We do a lot of shopping at Lowe’s and we also try to help the community when we can,” he said. Goodman said the fact that this project will benefit veterans was a plus for him.
“I’m from a military family. My grandfather fought at D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge. I have a special place in my heart for these guys,” he said.
A Troutman resident, Goodman said it felt good to be helping an organization that serves its community like the American Legion.
Goodman and Josh Dillon of Dillon Contracting spent the first hour or so of the project checking out what needed to be done while Goodman wrote down what supplies would be needed. Meanwhile, two of Dillon’s employees went to work taking out the toilets and getting the restrooms ready to be renovated.
Outside, Lowe’s employees Lynn Noble, Justin Stolp, Shelby Jodoin and Lexie Feige started the process of landscaping the side and front of the building.
Post member Dave MacFeiggan, an Air Force and Army Reserve veteran, grabbed a shovel and joined in, digging to expose an old pipe that needed to be removed.
McDaniel said the American Legion post in Troutman was formed in 1952, and this building has served as home since the early 1960s. To help with expenses, the post tries to rent out the facility but the condition of the building hampered those efforts, he said.
The hope is that with some of the renovations Lowe’s and its employees provided, the demand for rentals will increase.
“It’s immense,” McDaniel said. “It really is.”
White said all of the employees who volunteered to help Wednesday as well as the contractors lent their talents to the project did so to give back to a group of veterans who served their country and continue to serve their community.
Post Commander Ralph Dagenhart said this was the first major upgrade for the building since it was constructed.
He said he could not put into words what the contributions of Lowe’s, both from material and manpower standpoints, mean to the organization.
“It’s amazing,” he said. “That they were willing to give their time and efforts to make a difference, it’s wonderful.”