Dominion employees volunteer at Pine Grove Park
Twenty Dominion employees gathered on Sept. 27 at the Pine Grove Byrd Center Earley Park to volunteer their muscle and expertise in helping to complete projects for the community. Starting early in the rain-soaked morning and continuing into the hot late afternoon sun, the workers replaced electric breaker boxes, built a treated lumber barrier to create a walking track and play area enclosures, and installed a new metal roof on the outdoor restrooms facility. The projects of the day were funded by a $2,500 donation for materials from Dominion, with a hot lunch provided by Early Construction of Huntington.
Dominion and the Pine Grove area share a rich history dating back to the turn of the twentieth century, when the first Hope Gas transmission lines were constructed in the area near the current Hastings Extraction Plant location. The resulting population of gas workers influenced the growth of the town.
Dominion acquired the Hastings facilities from Consolidated Natural Gas Company in 2000, and the company has made a continuing effort to contribute to the area, not just in jobs, but in philanthropic endeavors such as donations of time and energy to the United Way in various counties in West Virginia and the Salvation Army in Parkersburg, packing 2000 boxes for troops overseas, or weatherizing homes for seniors. Last year, in a record setting performance, Dominion employees logged more than 150,000 hours of service in the community, and in West Virginia alone Dominion contributed over $720,000 to 32 charitable organizations.
Tuesday’s volunteer work was part of Dominion’s “Putting Our Energy to Work for the Environment” program, one segment of a nine-state effort to give back to communities. The program included 14 projects last year. Bob Orndorff, Dominion’s managing director of West Virginia state and local affairs, stressed Dominion’s commitment to the area. “We need to give back to the community-this is our chance.” He also mentioned an upcoming $10,000 Dominion donation to Tyler Consolidated High School.
In expressing his appreciation to Dominion, Mayor Barr commented, “We needed their help. They supplied the materials and the free labor. This is great.” Barr explained the day’s projects are part of an overall plan to improve the public facilities at Earley Park.
Dominion employees Tim Bates and Roger Blizzard, who worked on the shelter breaker box, were in agreement that the volunteer effort was worthwhile. “It’s a good deal. I like this,” said Blizzard. Bates added the new electric box will be child-proof. “It’ll be safer for the kids,” he said.
Some of the Dominion roof builders, Bruce Grim, Bill Wilcox, and Duane Goodrich expressed their approval of the day’s activities. “I’m glad to see this. The (Dominion) company is contributing to the area-it helps the young kids,” said Grim. Wilcox said he liked participating in volunteer activities, with Goodrich adding, “I enjoy getting out and working in the community.”
Keeping pace with the male workers, Dominion female volunteers such as Brenda Davisson, Maria Yoke, Gina Palmer, and Becky Summers wielded sledge hammers, carried 4 x 4 treated timbers, and operated impact drivers. “This is a good day, and a great community effort,” offered Yoke.
Summing up the efforts of the day’s volunteering, Chuck Penn, media/community relations manager from the Dominion Clarksburg office stated, “We believe we are only as strong as the communities we serveIt’s more than the hours we donate- it’s who we are.”