Local supervisors, Rotary lend hand

As Nov. 22 approached, Diane Roy was facing the end of her insurance coverage instead of looking forward to a day of holiday feasting.

The Hartford resident and single mother of three was recently warned that her insurance would be canceled if she did not get railings installed on her porch by Thanksgiving.

After the contractor she had hired threw his back out during construction, Roy was expecting a financial calamity, until a few town supervisors and Granville Rotary Club members stepped in.

“They came with a twinkle in their eyes and magically made it happen,” Roy said of the men.

Roy, who has a 26-year-old disabled daughter, uses Community, Work and Independence, Inc. (CWI) services, and had been in touch with the Glens Falls-based company about a broken furnace. Though the Roys live in Hartford, their mailing address falls in the Granville zip code, so CWI contacted the Granville Rotary Club for assistance when the issue about the porch arose.

“They were looking for organizations that can help this person; the club was glad to help,” said Matt Hicks, Granville town supervisor and Rotarian. “We weren’t going to say, ‘we’re not going to help because it’s not in Granville,” Hicks said.

Hicks was joined by Hartford Supervisor Dana Haff, Hampton Supervisor Dave O’Brien and his brother Pete, and Rotary members Bob Meldrum and Ken Littlewood. Roy feels the men did a modern-day rescue. She was especially impressed with Hicks, who spearheaded and organized the project.

“Matt Hicks was a modern-day Captain America; he’s a very purposeful individual. He’s very focused — you can see the community organizer in him,” Roy said.

Haff said the men replaced three separate stairs on the front porch, installed a railing and made it all handicapped accessible.

Roy’s daughter, who previously relied on her siblings for help, can now go up and down the stairs on her own.

“It had a dual purpose — it prevented me from going into complete cancellation of insurance, and it had the benefit of my daughter gaining independence,” Roy said.

She is grateful for her the men’s help, especially because they’re all busy fellows, and points out that a few special people make a big difference.

“That can catch on; we have a deficit of that,” Roy said. “It takes a man with vision — Matt has a very can-do attitude.”

Dave O’Brien said he and his brother were happy to have a chance to help someone in need. He also said the volunteers got a discount on materials from the owner of MacLeod’s Hardware.

“It’s always nice to see everybody come together for a community effort and help somebody out,” he said.

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