SIDNEY — Sidney High School softball coach Wade New was hoping to erect a building to house a new sound system at Aschenbach Field, made possible through a donation from the late Roger Ashenbach.
The cost was expected to be $2,300, but wound up costing nothing.
“I talked to Brad Kitta at Lowe’s about what we wanted, and he said he thought it might qualify for a corporate program they have,” New said. “He called back within a couple weeks and told me he had good news for us. So it went from about $2,300 to start out down to nothing thanks to Lowe’s.”
The project fell within the parameters of the Lowe’s Heroes program. The program includes volunteers from the Lowe’s stores, distribution centers and customer support centers, and they show their support for the community through projects such as this one.
It could involve revitalization efforts after a disaster, conducting how-to clinics to help community members develop construction skills, helping out at schools, or simply cleaning up local parks.
New said construction began this week on a 12-foot by 12-foot building, or press box, that will house the sound system and also be used for storage. It has a door leading into the home dugout and double doors in back. Lowe’s will also erect a 20-foot flag pole and donate an American flag at the field. Kitta, Sidney store manager, estimated that the donation of materials would equal about $5,000.
“They have given the Sidney softball family a press box we can truly be proud of,” New said.
There is no formal application process to suggest a project for Lowe’s Heroes, according to Kitta.
“People in the community bring forth projects,” he said. “(Organizations) request donations. With Lowe’s Heroes, we can take that one step further and do projects with volunteers.”
Lowe’s staff volunteer and do the work on their own time.
The program allows each store to complete one project per year. This year, however, the Sidney Lowe’s will take on a second project. At the end of the month, staff volunteers will begin to refresh and upgrade landscaping at the Sidney-Shelby County YMCA.
“Our company put an additional challenge out that a select number of stores could participate in and get additional money to donate. We were fortunate to win,” Kitta said.
That means the YMCA will get a landscaping facelift that would not have been possible otherwise, said David O’Leary, the Y’s operations director.
“It’s something that has not been in our budget for several years,” O’Leary said. “There’s an area around our front loop that has detriorated because of rain runoff. It’s gotten kind of run down. We’re looking at the possibility of fixing that” and also fixing the drainage problem there, he added. “That’s a much more significant cost than we usually budget for that area.”
In addition, Lowe’s volunteers will take down some old trees, trim some others, paint a bench and flower pot and remove stains from concrete.
Reach the writers at 937-538-4818 and 937-538-4824.