WELLSBURG - Brooke Hills Playhouse received help from 11 volunteers from the Follansbee Plant of Koppers, seven volunteers with Dan Hukill Contracting of Wellsburg and five volunteers from the playhouse itself as part of the Koppers Cares! Day of Service on Oct. 27.
The volunteers teamed to make improvements to the playhouse, which is a pre-Civil War barn at Brooke Hills Park.
They replaced portions of the ramp leading to the theater in the upper half of the barn by reinforcing the deck with new plywood and putting in new handrails where needed. They also reinforced the balcony behind the stage with supporting timbers.
VOLUNTEER?EFFORT — Nate Weinstein, manager of Koppers’ Follansbee plant, was among many volunteers from Koppers, Dan Hukill Contracting and Brooke Hills Playhouse who made repairs to the playhouse as part of Koppers Cares! Day of Service, a companywide project benefiting various non-profit organizations.
Nate Weinstein, manager of the Follansbee plant, said the project was part of a companywide effort in which plants chose a local nonprofit organization to assist.
"We had employees nominate nonprofits that might qualify, and then a management committee, along with hourly employee representatives, went through the applications completed by the nonprofits," he said.
Chris Knight, vice president of United Steelworkers Local 5-2971, said the union volunteers who participated in the day of service felt they owed it to the community.
"When we needed support, the people in the county stood behind us, so we wanted to give something back to the community," he said.
Nick Vallera, chair of the Local 5-2971 grievance committee, said, "We enjoy working together, whether it's on the job or for something like this. Chris and I even had our daughters helping out."
Weinstein said Dan Hukill Contracting got involved because the contractor "does as lot of work at our Follansbee plant, and I asked them to help me compile a list of items we'd need to complete the playhouse project, and then they offered to supply us with some volunteers."
Julie Barnhart, who is president of the Brooke County Arts Council as well as a Koppers employee, said the playhouse is grateful for the assistance.
"These are things that our board members could not do easily themselves," she added.
Other Koppers employees and family members who participating included Mark Alan, Darla Burns, Rich Butler, Sue Greathouse, USWA local 5-2971 President Todd Greathouse, Brian Lish, Tracy Macom and Rhiannnon Macom.
Volunteers from Dan Hukill Contracting included Kenny Henry, Rich Henry, Ron Henry, J.L. Huchison, Chuck Painter, Jermaine Wade, and Jason Weinstein.
Playhouse volunteers included Amy Balog, Chelsey Barnhart, Rob DeSantis and Diana Mendel.