Gina Willis, a Home Depot employee and a member of that company’s volunteer team, paints a gazebo outside of the base chapel at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., Sept. 27, 2012. Volunteers from Home Depot helped to beautify the gazebo area as part of a campaign to honor area military personnel. (Air National Guard photo by TSgt. Dan Heaton)
Mike Kauzlarich, a Home Depot employee and a member of that company’s volunteer team, rakes a flower garden near a gazebo outside of the base chapel at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., Sept. 27, 2012. Volunteers from Home Depot helped to beautify the gazebo area as part of a campaign to honor area military personnel. (Air National Guard photo by TSgt. Dan Heaton)
10/1/2012 - SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mich. -- The gazebo courtyard outside the base chapel at Selfridge Air National Guard Base received a major facelift this week, thanks to a set of helping hands from local Home Depot stores and associates.
About 30 volunteers from nine Home Depot stores on the east side of the Detroit area turned out for the project, which saw new benches built and arranged in the courtyard, the existing gazebo receive a fresh coat of paint, mulch added to the garden and other spruce-up activities.
"Every year, Home Depot selects a theme and we turn our volunteer efforts toward that theme," explained Bob Dennison, a store manager for Home Depot and the leader of the volunteer team. "This year, we are doing things that recognize our military service personnel, who protect the freedoms we enjoy here at home."
The gazebo project is one of two major projects this year for the east-side Home Depot team. In the other project, the team created a courtyard area at a veterans' service center run by the Vietnam Veterans of America in downtown Detroit.
"We met a great group of guys there, some of whom have fallen on some hard times, but have still earned our respect for their service," Dennison said.
Dennison said that several of the vets from the center downtown have helped out with some of Home Depot smaller service projects as a result of getting the know the volunteers.
At Selfridge, the base chapel is the site of weekly Roman Catholic and Protestant worship service and the building also houses offices for the Family Support and Retiree Affairs programs. About a half dozen or so couple get married at the chapel every year and the gazebo is a popular place for pictures, said Paulus Obey, a retired member of the 127th Wing at Selfridge who now serves as the minister of the on-base Protestant congregation.
"It is heart-warming to see a group of people who just want to give back," Obey said. "As military personnel, we understand that call to service. This will enhance our chapel for all our visitors, particularly those couple who choose to get married on the base."