Local company presents $25,000 check to Grand Rapids Home for Veterans

Posted at 1:14 PM, Jul 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-27 09:39:56-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Orion Construction presented a $25,000 check to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans during the facility's annual appreciation day Saturday to go toward building repairs.

The company recently finished construction of the facility's new front awning and felt donating the money was an  opportunity they couldn't pass up.

During Saturday's event, Orion also auctioned off a brand new Harley Davidson motorcycle as part of a raffle that raised thousands of dollars at last month's annual 'Freedom Cruise.'

"These folks have obviously sacrificed a tremendous amount for all of us and this was an opportunity for us to recognize that," said Jason Wheeler, public relations coordinator for Orion.

"We hope what we're doing is inspiring other people and adding to the awareness—by no means are we spearheading anything—but we're doing what we can and really happy and honored to be a part of something like this."

Tiffany Carr, director of community and member relations for the Home, says they're 'blessed' to have a donation like this, which doesn't come around very often.

"This kind of a donation is maybe a once in a couple years kind of project," she said.

The project in question the money will go toward will be the revamping and renovating of the facility's 39-year-old band-shell, which is a staple and common gathering place for various events throughout the year.

"We've got it looking pretty good because we're hiding all the broken mortar and the peeling paint," Carr said. "It's a 1975 structure that has not been touched or renovated since."

Estimates to renovate the band-shell ring in at around $30,000 at least to get new sound and lighting equipment and possible even a drop-down screen for movies, Carr said.

In a place that could use all the help it can get, any upgrades the to the facility won't be just to building a better building, but a better home. The facility currently houses approximately 450 veterans ranging from World War II to Vietnam, and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

"This place needs a little love that's not government funding," said John Wheeler of Orion Construction.

"As the place falls into more and more disrepair it's a little disrespectful and we thought let's get involved."