DETROIT/MAY 12 – Only when the church bells rang out at noon did the Detroit Muscle Crew II team of volunteers take a break.
The crew spent the day on Friday volunteering their labor at the Cathedral of St. Anthony on Detroit’s east side replacing and installing more than a dozen glass block windows around the church’s food and clothing pantry.
The window installation was the first phase of the work that’s being done at the church that feeds and clothes hundreds of poor and homeless people each year. St. Anthony received a $5,000 donation from A Hole in the Roof Foundation from funds raised at the 2016 Mitch Albom S.A.Y. Detroit Radiothon. Those funds are being used for materials; the Muscle Crew is supplying the labor.
The St. Anthony project is being led by Mike Stephanoff, president of One Step Home Solutions, who on Friday brought four colleagues: Allan Colcernian, Roy Seaton, Ron LaBarge and Tom Stephanoff. His team will return Saturday to install a new door and repair several others with the help of fellow volunteer Joe Ferrara.
Supplying a major assist replacing and installing the windows Friday was Albaugh Masonry. The company graciously donated the services of four of its employees: Ray Beebe, Simon Albaugh, Eric Sanderson and John Beebe.
Also lending a hand — err, make that some muscle — was Muscle Crew II volunteer Jim Primeau of Oxford.
The spirit of cooperation between the skilled trades professionals was evident throughout the day.
“We divided up the tasks and went to work,” Stephanoff said. “Their (Albaugh Masonry) skill with their trade, well, it’s making this job go exceptionally well.”
Ray Beebe, leader of the Albaugh group, said: “This is so rewarding for us helping out and giving back to the community.”
Bishop Karl Rodig of St. Anthony, said he has been overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of the group. Because not all of the funds will be exhausted after the two-day first phase of the project, the Muscle Crew will return in the coming weeks with (he hopes) a painter and a roofer for a few more repairs.
“There’s no words,” Rodig said. “We save, May through October, to pay for our winter heating. What a good crew, good idea, this is. We are very thankful.”