Trending Content

Community Impact project tidies up a testament to heroes

By Brock Huffstutler

May 19, 2024

The latest project of the ARA Foundation and The Toro Company Foundation’s joint Community Impact Program helped to restore a space that stands as an inspirational testament to men and women who have served within all branches of the United States military.

Representatives of 11 companies — who offered their rental expertise, equipment, and labor — completed the latest project at Veterans Memorial Park in Lewiston, Maine, on May 14, 2024, in collaboration with the L & A Veterans Council and the ARA of Maine.

A flood in December 2023 devastated the park, and the volunteers’ work included the installation of a temporary 125-ft. road to enable crane access to the damaged monument area for further restoration, and the removal of debris.

Local ABC affiliate WMTW was on site and provided this report of the event on its YouTube channel:

“Getting the road in to access the monuments was phase one of the restoration,” says Dan Morris, general manager, Kennebec Equipment Rental Co., Fairfield, Maine, and ARA of Maine president. “Once the crane company moves them, the city is going to come in with the public works crew and help restore the bank and retaining walls and fill in what was damaged and pulled into the river. They’re hoping to have most of that work done by July 4th and be fully opened by Veteran’s Day with the park back to what it was pre-flood.”

While the volunteer team experienced a mix of rain and chilly temps followed by pleasant weather — “three seasons of Maine in one day,” according to Morris — the project was both successful and a moving experience for many.

“Seeing Jerry [Dewitt, chair, L & A Veterans Council] get emotional about how much this project meant for him, and hearing the stories of people there about why this was so important to them, was a highlight of the day for me,” Morris says.

Area veterans and members of the local American Legion also pitched in, as did “a Gold Star mom who provided food, water, coffee and donuts,” Morris says.

Brian Richardson, president, L & A Tent Rentals, Trenton, N.J., who serves as American Rental Association (ARA) Region Two director, also took part in the project and for him, the effort was especially significant. “Lewiston, Maine, is my hometown. This project is very special to me as I have known many of the people honored at the memorial, including my dad, Davis Richardson,” he says.

The rental businesses and industry suppliers that participated were:

  • Toro, Bloomington, Minn.
  • Ditch Witch, Perry, Okla.
  • Alta Equipment Co., Lewiston, Maine
  • Balcom Bros. Rentals, Milford, N.H.
  • Easy Rent All, Lewiston, Maine
  • Kennebec Equipment Rental, Fairfield, Maine
  • L & A Tent Rentals, Trenton, N.J.
  • Ready Equipment, Meredith, N.H.
  • Summit Sales Associates, Honeoye Falls, N.Y.
  • Taylor Rental Center, Manchester, Conn.
  • United Rentals, Westbrook, Maine

The Community Impact Program, which to date has spanned projects in 11 U.S. states and one Canadian province, involves the ARA Foundation and The Toro Company Foundation partnering with local nonprofit organizations to coordinate community service projects. The purpose of the program is twofold: to allow those in the rental industry an opportunity to give back to their community as well as build public awareness and demonstrate the advantages of rental.

To learn more about the Community Impact Program and to submit a local organization’s project for consideration, click here.

Post Tags