STONINGTON, Conn. — On Saturday, April 5, the boiler at the residence of Robert A. Slater, a master sergeant serving in Kuwait with the 1109th Army National Guard, leaked and flooded his home’s basement. The following Monday, Slater's wife, Frances, got estimates for a replacement and e-mailed them to her husband.

The long-distance arrangements were completed when Frances Slater hired W.J. Woycik Plumbing & Heating of Mystic, Conn. Walter Woycik noted that it could cost up to $5,000, but he would not charge for labor.

Seven members of the southeast Connecticut chapter of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association then came to the Slater home on Friday, April 11, and installed a new boiler for free. The chapter's president, Mark Fernandez, presented Frances Slater with a certificate marked paid in full, with the association's logo on it.

Participants in this project included: Woycik, who organized the project; distributor Shetucket Plumbing Supply of Groton and manufacturer Burnham Co., Lancaster, Pa., who split the price of the boiler and parts; and PHCC Connecticut members Paul Currie, Steven Long, Cris Kerfus, Carl Smith, Richard Garcione, and Jim Brown, who volunteered their time for the installation.

A similar project by the PHCC Texas has begun called "Operation Texas PHCC" to provide volunteer plumbing, heating, and cooling services to families of those stationed in Iraq. PHCC Texas is forwarding interested member company names to the military support office in their area.

Publication date: 04/14/2003