Chermak Construction owner Howard Chermak (center) and his employees participated in the 2014 Rampathon where they constructed a wheelchair-accessible ramp for a local resident. “This is a wonderful and important event,” he said. “We love Edmonds and love to give back to this great community.”
Saturday was no day off for the owners and staff of Edmonds’ Chermak Construction.
First thing in the morning the Chermak group assembled at the home of 95-year-old Fred J. Shaw to pitch in for the 2014 Rampathon, an annual event sponsored by Chermak, the Master Builders’ Association, Dunn Lumber, Homestreet Bank and others, in which the sponsors donate materials, labor and skill to construct a wheelchair-accessible ramp for someone who could otherwise not afford it.
Shaw must use walkers and wheelchairs, and as a result his mobility and independence are severely restricted.
“This will help my grandfather so much,” said NatalieMarie Shaw. “My mother and I had to literally carry grandpa in and out of the house. This will give him so much more independence and really expand his world.”
- Story and photos by Larry Vogel
Glenn Berkwitt, a project manager for Chermak, stepped out of his administrative duties to get his hands dirty in this year’s Rampathon. “We’ve got more supervisors here than workers,” he laughed.
The old saying “many hands make for light work” was in evidence today as the Chermak crews pitched in to build a wheelchair-accessible ramp for 90-year-old Fred Shaw. Also boosting everyone’s spirits and energy was the knowledge that as a result of their work Shaw will enjoy a degree of independence he hasn’t known for many years.
Chermak staff even drafted family members to help. Here Allison Elkins, daughter of Chermak employee Jon Elkins, puts a coat of stain on some decking
Workers, office staff and management from Chermak pitched in to provide the necessary labor.
The annual Rampathon is sponsored by an array of local businesses that contribute time, skill and materials to build an handicapped-accessible ramp at the home of a person who could not otherwise afford it.
Allison Elkins (center) assists in the construction of the wheelchair-accessible ramp. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Hashbarger)