The mission of the Eastman Boys and Girls Club is to provide a safe place for children up to 18 years of age during after-school and summer hours. They focus on athletics, arts, tutoring, music, fun, and games. For 2010, a Merrill Lynch grant enabled the Club to offer free lunches to children, thus allowing them to spend their budget on administering their many programs for the 180 children who visit every day – many of whom live in a nearby housing project. But they still have few funds for maintenance and repairs on their rapidly-aging facility. It’s easy to see how little maintenance has been accomplished recently: The interior murals depict Kareem and Magic, Laker basketball heroes of the 1980s.
The west side wall of the facility, composed of concrete blocks, is over 100 feet long, and part of it encompasses the gymnasium. During last winter’s heavy rains, water intruded through the blocks into the gym. While Club staff were able to keep the water from damaging the gym floor, the wall clearly had to be waterproofed to prevent this from recurring. Given the height and length of the wall, scaffolding and hard hats were required; and tree branches had to be trimmed and weeds cleaned-up to allow placement of the scaffolding. Additionally, the music room – a room full of instruments, which gets extensive use – had a very shabby appearance and needed new paint, as did one of the exterior entrances to the facility.
Through generous donations of labor, materials, and equipment, RTLB was able to meet all of these needs: Acyrlatex Coating donated the sealer, primer, and paint; Construction Rentals donated 4 porta-potties; Glaeser Builders, Inc. erected the scaffolding at no charge and covered the majority of the rental costs; and over 130 volunteers – from California State University Long Beach and WAKA Kickball – donated their labor. Leading this army of volunteers was RTLB’s Bill Leisy, ably assisted by Bill Bowers, our “safety sensei”, whose expertise ensured that all those on the three tiers of scaffolding were well-trained and secure in their job functions.
The bottom lines: The Club staff are assured that the boys and girls who visit their facility now have a safe and healthy environment in which to partake of the many artistic, athletic, and educational opportunities afforded them. And RTLB is proud to have helped facilitate all this.