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GLRC Helps Open Camp Hometown Heroes in Time for Campers

Great Lakes Roofing Corporation (GLRC), a leading provider in commercial and industrial roofing and 2022 Better Business Bureau Torch Award Recipient, served at Camp Hometown Heroes on May 15, 2023, in preparation for the summer camp’s seasonal opening. GLRC’s work honors the families of fallen US military personnel, a cause that is close to their hearts.

Camp Hometown Heroes is a non-profit organization that has been providing a free week-long overnight summer camp for children (aged 7 to 17) of fallen US military personnel for ten years. GLRC celebrates Camp Hometown Heroes’ mission to assist community building among peers, help them process grief, support the healing process, and know they are not alone.

“Many adults shouldering their own grief and new reality find it difficult to also help their kids navigate through. These children, grieving the loss of a parent or sibling, often feel alone in relation to other kids at school. Camp is here to help them realize there is a whole community of kids just like them, but they’re widespread. To achieve Camp’s unique mission, they fly kids in from all over the nation at no cost. This is a mission worth leaning into and supporting any way we can,” said Kris Moran, GLRC Marketing Director.

“We recognize that the loss of a parent is something like no other but the loss of a parent in a tragic and often sudden way is even harder for children to handle and fathom. The Camp Hometown Heroes program is designed to provide recreational programming with an embedded element of trauma-informed support throughout the experience. This includes art therapy, meditation, yoga, effective communicating surrounding grief and so much more. Further, we honor the fallen family members – the service men and women – throughout the week at camp in some very special ways so

the kids can fondly remember their loved ones. While there are tears, this is the time in which the campers get to celebrate their loved ones and remember them fondly,” said Liz Braatz, Director of Development, Hometown Heroes, Inc.

Over 85 GLRC staff – from office and production teams – devoted their time cleaning the cabins, fixing roofs, clearing trails, and more, capping off the day with over 30 projects around the camp accomplished in time for the season opener.

“One of the projects that we finished was a rebuild of camp’s outdoor amphitheater seating, President of GLRC, Chris Lampien, recounts. “After removing the old splinter-ridden seats, we leveled all the stones and installed new wooden benches. Finally, we added our logo and signatures to the benches, so in a fun way our whole crew left our mark on camp! It was great to come together as a team to offer tangible support to all future Campers,” says Lampien.

GLRC also brought three pickup trucks full of much needed supplies for the summer camp, which they sourced with the help of their staff, the community, and their generous business partners through a donation drive. Snacks, art supplies and outdoor sporting gear were at the top of Camp’s wish list this year.

“These donated items are so greatly needed and appreciated. Art supplies allow us to conduct our art therapy programming and many of the other donated items, such as sporting gear is costly for our organization. Thanks to your donation, we are able to utilize our resources in other areas, such as flying in the children from other parts of the country to Wisconsin. Every donation to our small organization makes a big difference!” Braatz said.

Volunteering at Camp Hometown Heroes is among the many events that GLRC has planned during 2023 to commemorate its 40th anniversary. Living out their culture of community building, GLRC staff were eager to work together and contribute their time and skills to Camp Hometown Heroes’ mission.

“Everybody was working with smiles on their faces and enjoying the effort that they were putting in. Our office staff worked side-by-side with our production crews and got to know each other personally, which they loved because their daily tasks don’t often overlap. It was not only a great event to support a cause we’re passionate about, but also a great team bonding experience for our employees,” said Moran.

You can help too! Camp Hometown Heroes needs continuous support to carry out their mission. They are currently seeking staff and volunteers to help them run the camp 24

hours a day and fill roles like grief counselors and safety marshals. In addition, they are actively requesting donations and supplies to keep the camp running and fully stocked for their campers.

“Our organization thrives on the kindness of others. Volunteers who cook, clean, can do ground keeping work, laundry and assist in caring for the kids are treasured. Further, we sincerely love the kindness of volunteers who are also veterans. The campers really taking a kinship to those who have served and the veterans also get so much from helping the kids,” said Braatz.

For more information on how to volunteer, please contact Tommy Losch, Camp Program Director at [email protected] or visit camphometownheroes.org.

Headquartered in Germantown, WI, Great Lakes Roofing Corporation (GLRC) is a national award-winning roofing company providing commercial/industrial building owners with the solutions they need to keep their products and people safe. GLRC is celebrating 40 years as a quality roofing contractor that maintains its core values and family culture while providing clients with the safest and best services. GLRC’s mission is to be their clients’ trusted partner and first choice in roofing solutions. Learn more at www.greatlakesroofing.net.