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Spirit of cooperation makes Richmond project happen

A COOPERATIVE EFFORT — A do-this-together spirit prevailed for the undertaking and completion of a long-needed project behind the Crew House Museum on Main Street, Richmond, that produced a new patio area, steps and railing. Celebrating the outcome recently were among the project principles involved, including, seated, from left, Richmond Community Historical Society officers Don Swickard, vice president, and Phil Judy, president; and standing, village Mayor Harry Thomas; Tom Timmons and H. Lee Kinney, trustees of the Pugliese Foundation that provided a $2,500 grant award; Tom Grimm, historical society member; and Richmond Lions Club representatives Leonard Orwick, Brian Applegarth and Mark Rogers. -- Janice Kiaski

RICHMOND — The completion of a long-needed undertaking behind the Crew House Museum on Main Street brought early Thanksgiving gratitude for the job done and the spirit of cooperation that made it happen, according to those involved.

“Because of a safety issue, we had to get this done,” explained Phil Judy, president of the Richmond Historical Community Society, regarding the project that involved a new back patio area, back steps and railing.

The estimated cost, though, put the likelihood of its fruition in back-burner status until volunteer effort and a grant from the Pugliese Foundation combined to change that prospect.

“It’s just super great the cooperation we had on this,” Judy said recently of the project that involved the historical society, the Richmond Lions Club, the village of Richmond and a $2,500 grant from the Pugliese Foundation. “It’s just amazing what we were able to get done — the way it looks, the way it turned out and the cooperation,” Judy said.

The overall project spanned an estimated six-week period that was completed just in time for the historical society’s annual Quaker Day, a fundraiser for the historical society where that improved area is used as part of the festivities.

“We applied for the grant in early spring, and we got a $2,500 grant from the Pugliese Foundation,” explained Sandy Judy, historical society secretary, who noted a contractor’s estimate put the project at nearly $6,000.

“We did not have that much money awarded, and we couldn’t come up with that much,” she said. Conversations with the Richmond Lions Club and the village, however, fostered a spirit of involvement and put the project in forward motion.

“They stepped right up,” Phil Judy said of the Lions Club’s willingness to help.

The club got involved “just to help the community,” noted Lion Brian Applegarth. “They help us, so we wanted to help them,” he added, estimating that seven or eight club members helped with the project that included pouring concrete. “We were just happy to do it. It’s a great community project for all of us,” noted Leonard Orwick, a member of the Lions who fellow club member Mark Rogers credited with doing a lot of the excavation work in preparation for the new patio being poured.

The village of Richmond also factored into the project becoming a reality.

“The village owns this building, and it’s leased to the historical society,” explained Richmond Mayor Harry Thomas. “We loaned them our equipment, so they could tear out the old brick and concrete, and it was people from the Lions club that used the equipment and one of our councilmen, so we got everything tore out with the village equipment, and we could do that because we own the building and the property,” Thomas said.

The Pugliese Foundation has awarded funding that has helped the museum in other ways through the years, including money to raze a dilapidated house and make possible development of a parking lot in its place. It also helped with funding to repoint the brick on the museum.

“This project was very needed, and we were glad to do it,” said Lee Kinney, a Pugliese Foundation trustee recently admiring the patio area project. With him was Tom Timmons, also a foundation trustee.

“Tom and I just adjourned from our annual (Pugliese Foundation) meeting, and we started with $12 million 20 years ago, and we still have $12 million, and we have given away as of today more than $8 million in 20 years,” Kinney said,

“We had so many nice comments on Quaker Day,” Sandy Judy said of feedback and reaction from festival-goers. “The cooperation we got from everybody was just outstanding,” reiterated Phil Judy.

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