We started out with one goal for the 2015 Labor Day Work Weekend, to out do 2014. I am happy to say we succeeded and then some.
I would like to start out by thanking all of the donors who made the great work we did possible. We destroyed our original fund raising goal of $3,500, then blew past our $10,000 stretch goal to a final total of $11,364.27. That is truly remarkable and shows what we can achieve together. There are too many donors to list here, 65 in total, but please know you have our sincerest thanks for your donations. A huge thank you goes out to everyone who challenged their fellow brothers to match their donations. This had a tremendous positive impact on the event. One cannot discuss the fund raising for these weekends without mentioning Terry -TZ- Moran. His tenacious E-Mail campaigns have been the backbone of our fundraising efforts (as well as the bane of everyone’s spam filters).
I would also like to thank all of our alumni volunteers for donating their time, sweat, and sanity (assuming they had any to begin with).
A special shout out goes to JR Augustine for his relentless work in finding a new stove for the kitchen, and it is a beauty! JR found the stove outside of Philly and also trailered it all the way up to Potsdam for us.
Also to Tim Dammann for once again leading our construction efforts. His tireless pre-event organization and breadth of knowledge has been key to the success of these weekends (I’m not sure that is the proper use for that tool).
Our original goal was to simply build on the great efforts of last year and continue repairing/painting down the sides of the house. Between the tremendous fundraising job and JR’s stove, We decided to doubled down and give the kitchen a much needed refresh as well. We decided to work on the kitchen as it is the main entryway into the house these days, and therefore the first thing the public and potential members see inside. In conjunction with the work done outside, it makes for quite a nice first impression.
The kitchen received new cabinets, counter tops, drop ceiling, moldings, stove, and one of the most through cleanings the house has ever seen. Anyone would be proud to call this their kitchen now.
However, that is not to say we skimped on the originally planned work. Focusing on the north side of the house (facing the field), we painted (and repaired where possible) the eaves, window trim and basically anything that is not brick.
You would think we would be done with all that, but there was still the Nick Bernal back stair challenge. Using the funds raised we replaced, patched, mudded, and sanded the back stairwell. The actives were hard at work painting it as the day drew to an end. Be sure to be on the lookout for the completed photos in the near future.
All in we spent just over $5,000 on the weekends work. Early on in the planning phase it became easily apparent that we could not wisely and effectively spend all the money raised in just one weekend. The remainder of the funds have been earmarked for the impending roof replacement. We are currently in the process of vetting contractors, getting quotes, and assessing different roofing material options. With a current extremely rough estimate of $30K, the remaining ~$6,000 from this weekend is a welcome addition to that ongoing fundraising effort.
I would also like to make note of a project the actives are taking on independently, which is a full rehab of the Twilight Zone. the project is still in the demo phase, but they are making good progress. If it turns out half as nice as the last room they rehabbed, the sun porch, it will be sure to be a sought after room. I will be adding a separate blog post in the near future regarding the work done in the sun porch for anyone who may have missed it.
Moving into the coming school year, there will be a heavy emphasis on the roof. While this work will be mainly done by a contractor, that is not to say we will not be actively planning Labor Day 2016. Our current list of goals include finishing the eave repair, and other exterior beautification projects such as new landscaping. We are also assessing the feasibility of rehabbing some of the other high visibility first floor rooms in need of repair, such as the bathroom off the kitchen and the pantry/coat room. If you have any suggestions for projects, or would like to take an active role in the planning process. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us at Eboard@OmicronPiOmicron.com.
Labor Day 2015 was a rousing success. We will continue to grow this tradition in 2016 and beyond. We need alumni help in all arenas, whether you’re a skilled carpenter or don’t know what a Phillips head screwdriver is. The benefit to the structure of the house is greatly improved with alumni assistance. But more importantly, the presence of alumni willing to continue putting sweat into the brotherhood benefits the young men who are our active brothers and the fraternity as a whole. These weekends are just as much about bonding with and mentoring the active chapter as they are about repairing our beloved 14 Leroy st.
On behalf of; Terry -TZ- Moran, The Alumni Eboard, and the Active Chapter we sincerely appreciate your continued support of the organization.