Local Businesses, Groups Help Relight Boys, Girls Club

A local community organization has been relit thanks to local groups and businesses.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 106, Ahlstrom Schaeffer Electrical Corporation and the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities, joined together to install 267 new energy-saving lights at the Winifred Crawford Dibert Boys & Girls Club of Jamestown today. The IBEW will be supplying manpower, with 25 electricians working to install the lights, Ahlstrom-Schaeffer is donating supplies and equipment and the BPU donated energy-efficient lighting kits.

The project is part of the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County’s 12 Months of Caring program. The program is an initiative that links local businesses and volunteers with community-based projects.

”When we learned that the Boys and Girls Club was struggling to update their lighting, we immediately contacted David Wilkinson at the IBEW to see if they could help,” said Tory Irgang, United Way of Southern Chautauqua County executive director.

Initially, the project was too expensive for the club to undertake, which was estimated to cost more than $20,000. However, that is when the local partners solved how retrofitting the lighting would be more energy efficient.

”Without the IBEW Local 106 and Ahlstrom-Schaeffer working with us on this, it wouldn’t have been done at this scale or in this time frame,” said Rex McCray, Boys & Girls Club board president.

Today, 25 IBEW workers begin the day-long project of retrofitting fixtures in the facility with new, energy efficient models.

”We’ve done projects for the community in the past, but this will be the biggest,” said Wilkinson, business manager. ”Our members care about the community, and this is a great way to give back to an organization that has touched many of us personally.”

With the manpower in place, they still needed supplies and equipment, and that is when Ahlstrom-Schaeffer came to the rescue.

”We will make sure the club is staged for the electricians with the kits for each fixture and everything we think they’ll need,” said Dave Painter, Ahlstrom-Shaeffer vice resident.

After the work is complete, the Boys & Girls Club officials will apply for a rebate through the BPU. This will cover the majority of the costs associated with the fixtures and be applied as a credit to their monthly bills. The energy efficiency gained through the new lighting should save the Boys & Girls Club around $3,500 each year.

In 2014, the Boys & Girls Club will be celebrating its 75th anniversary in Jamestown. The lighting project will kick off a year-long celebration, with it coming in time for the club’s Santa’s Shoppe next week.

For more information about 12 Months of Caring, or to register your business for a volunteer project, call the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County at 483-1561 or email bprice@uwayscc.org.