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"The day started at 8 a.m. when the service vans showed up at a home shared by a 75-year-old mother and her two adult handicapped children. But the story started several months earlier when a local group of veterans found a decaying monument to an American soldier who'd been killed in the Vietnam War. In the course of their investigation, they came across his mom and siblings living in dire straits. The group adopted the family and decided to perform a series of long overdue home improvements and general repairs.
"Although the veterans group included several handy individuals who could perform general carpentry, roofing, tile, and cleanup work, they lacked expertise in heating systems. One member of the group attended a BOCES class taught by Bill Anderson, district service manager of Meenan Oil and a member of the Nassau-Suffolk Chapter of NAOHSM. Anderson, a Vietnam veteran, heard about the conditions the family was living in and he brought it to the attention of the Oilheat Cares Committee. The project was approved.
"Needless to say, the boiler was in terrible shape. The base was rotted, the chamber was burned out, the end cone was missing, there were numerous leaks in the domestic piping - and that's the good news.
"While the crew was assembling the new boiler, one of the students from the OHI/OHCC [vo-tech] school added baseboard to a bathroom upstairs.
"The installation turned out terrifically, just as every oil heat installation should. The crew made sure the pipes were level and everything functioned properly. The unit was adjusted to specs with instruments and the area was left cleaner than when the crew arrived.
"There were representatives from several Long Island companies on the job including John Griffin from General, Matt Spink from Slomins, Ron Poniatowski Jr. and Bill Anderson from Meenan, Wayne Lawrence from Petro, Bill Rella from Patterson, Will Scheiner and his dad/apprentice Bill Scheiner, and John Levey from Oilheat Associates. The supporting cast included Bob Chapman from Advanced Hydronics, Joe Lombardo from Acme-Rasol, and Phil Schwartz from Mas Sales.
"It was early afternoon when the last truck pulled away, in everyone there was a proud oil heat professional who felt good about doing something nice for a family less fortunate than his own."
Publication date: 11/28/2005