Members of the Association of Wall-Ceiling & Carpentry Industries of New York, Inc. (WC&C) took three weeks to put the town‘s movie theater back together after donating their services and products free of charge.
Much of the town, affectionately referred to as the Gem of the Catskills, was wiped out when more than four feet of water rushed through the streets, trapping over 1,800 residents.
Despite being situated on the mountain top, Hurricane Irene’s flash floods merged Windham with the Batavia Kill Creek which runs alongside the town. In a matter of hours, the roads were washed away and the town’s Main Street was destroyed.
The membership of WC&C learned of the devastation from member Jim Fenimore, co-founder of Total Office Planning Services, Inc (TOPS). As a Windham homeowner, Fenimore knew first-hand the importance of rebuilding the town businesses to help Windham’s close-knit community.
Since the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) does not grant money to businesses in the wake of natural disasters, Fenimore enlisted additional WC&C members to assist the owner of Windham Theatre to get the establishment back in working order.
TOPS, along with Island Acoustics and Nastasi & Associates, Inc., (both companies are specialists in acoustical ceilings, drywall and carpentry services) set out to rebuild all of the sheetrock in this three-screen movie theater.
The sheetrock was destroyed five feet off the ground and needed to be completely replaced. Some ceilings were affected as well and needed to be restored.
The work took three weeks and all of the contractors volunteered their services free of charge. Materials were donated by WC&C members Feldman Lumber and The Donaldson Organization. Par-Wall Finishing, Inc. sent drywall tapers to assist with the project. TOPS provided transportation for all of the workers and covered their lodging and meal expenses.
Since the hurricane, much of the town has been rebuilt, all with volunteer help.