Casey Croucher/Recorder Staff Home Depot volunteers put together the Stars and Stripes veterans memorial deck Wednesday at Shuttleworth Park.
By CASEY CROUCHER
Under a cloudless blue sky, 25 Home Depot volunteers gathered at Shuttleworth Park Wednesday to assemble a veteran's memorial deck.
The new addition, dubbed the Stars and Stripes Deck, was created in part due to the Shuttleworth Park Foundation and the Home Depot Foundation.
Carmen Carbone, store manager for Amsterdam's Home Depot, was approached by the Shuttleworth Park Foundation last fall, he said.
"The foundation wanted to build an additional deck for veterans to watch baseball games on," Carbone said. "I was in favor of the idea and I thought it was great."
Carbone said he helped the Shuttleworth Park Foundation apply for the Home Depot Foundation's $8,000 grant, and in January they were awarded the money.
The deck, which includes a bench and wheelchair ramp, was designed in the store, and on Wednesday, 25 Home Depot employees volunteered their time to assemble it.
"This really is a great project and I'm privileged to be a part of it," Carbone said. "Vets can enjoy baseball games, they can actually get up on the deck because of the ramp, it's just a great addition to a an already amazing park."
Patricia Beck, Shuttleworth Park Foundation Director, also said the new addition is great for the park and the city as a whole.
"This deck not only benefits our veterans, it benefits our entire area because it's another way for people to enjoy the beauty of our park and it didn't cost the taxpayers any money whatsoever," Beck said. "I think this is a great idea because it's for the veterans, to give back to them and honor them for their service. They can enjoy baseball games on their own special deck and people attending the games will know who they are and will have the opportunity to thank them."
Rob Spagnola, Recreation Department Director, said he felt very fortunate to receive the Home Depot's donation.
"This is just unbelievably nice," Spagnola said, "It's a great way to give back to the veterans and I feel very fortunate to have [Beck] and the Home Depot working on improving our park. This is a nice addition, a nice piece to add to our puzzle."
Brian Burrell, a Vietnam Combat Veteran and member of Broadalbin's Legion Riders, said the deck was "a beautiful addition for vets."
"This is such a nice contribution to this park and will be appreciated greatly by veterans in the area, especially older vets who need the wheelchair ramp," Burrell said. "[Carbone] is such an advocate for vets; this is such a good day. It's truly an honor and it's nice to be appreciated by a company instead of an individual; I think this is the first time anything like this has come about from a big company in our area."
In honor of all the military branches, Home Depot bought flags for each branch to put on the deck. Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk, D-Duanesburg, also donated the New York State flag and the American flag for the park to fly.
Beck said every Tuesday, during the summer, when the Amsterdam Mohawks have a game, veterans will be offered free game admission and a seat on their own deck.
She said June 7 the deck will officially be dedicated to veterans prior to a Mohawk's game.