Athletes lend a helping handNew Richmond High School athletes have volunteered to help a new business get established in the community.
By: Jeff Holmquist, New Richmond News
New Richmond High School athletes have volunteered to help a new business get established in the community.
Five football and soccer players spent much of Thursday, June 17, painting a portion of the new offices for Wisconsin Lighting Inc. in the old downtown Doboy plant (now known as the WeTEC Building).
Among the athletes helping out were AJ Wallace, Grant Nelson, Mike Stoffel, Tanner Turany and Justice Harvieux.
The volunteer effort was borne out of a conversation between New Richmond Area Economic Development Corp. President Paul Mayer and New Richmond School District Administrator Morrie Veilleux.
“He asked how the schools could be more involved in economic development in New Richmond,” Mayer explained.
The conversation eventually led to school officials thinking about the high school’s annual Service Learning Day and how that concept could be expanded.
“We talked about making it more of a year-round effort,” Mayer said.
When the city’s newest industrial business Wisconsin Lighting began moving to the community, Mayer said the city was faced with a huge painting job.
That’s when the volunteer students were utilized.
“It’s one of those incentives for new businesses that other communities might not think about,” he said. “It all helps bring businesses to town.”
High school football coach Jason Eckert said it didn’t take him long to find athletes who were willing to pitch in.
“I think it’s a good idea for our kids to get out and help the community,” he said. “We get a lot of support from local business and the community, so it makes sense for us to give of our time to help them.”
WeTEC building manager Tom Elbert was on hand for the day to guide the athletes through the extensive painting project. He gave each a painting lesson and set them to work.
The students painted several paneled walls and touched up another office wall. The area will serve as the main office for Wisconsin Lighting. The company also is leasing a significant amount of production space to work on its custom lampshades.
According to Elbert, once Wisconsin Lighting moves into its space, the WeTEC building (which is owned by the city) will be close to half full.