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  • admin
  • 23 August 2013

August 23, 2013 Union brothers help Canton member

August 18, 2013 - By Brad Kadrich Staff Writer Beverly Langham, a diabetic who has suffered multiple strokes and a heart attack needed a handicap-accessible ramp added to the Canton Township home she shares with her husband, Chuck. But Chuck, a heart attack survivor himself, knew he wasn’t going to be able to build it. So his brothers built it for him. Not brothers in a sibling sense, but brothers in the “we’re in this together” sense that often accompanies union membership and Langham, a recently retired member of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights, found out he could count on his. Many union members joined in this week, building a new deck and adding a ramp to the front of Langham’s College Park Estates home. “As a union, we are there to help our members, however and whenever we can,” said union member Ed Musser, a Livonia resident who organized the volunteer effort. “They needed a ramp built, and we came out and gave them one.” Langham recently retired from Garden City-based International Extrusion, which Musser said donated “about half the cost” of the $3,000 project. Canton-based Mans Lumber gave workers “a great discount” on the lumber needed for the 6- by 12-foot deck and accompanying ramp. The project, under the auspices of the union’s executive financial treasurer Michael Jackson, included volunteers from Local 1045 (interior systems), Local 1234 (residential local) and Local 687 (commerical carpenters). The project, and others like it, are part of the Council’s mission to help in the community. Charlie Jackson, the treasurer’s brother, figures he’s worked on some 200 decks in the last 20 years. A 40-year member of the union, Jackson said volunteering for such projects is a no-brainer. “We’re supposed to help each other, I really believe that,” Jackson said. “They don’t allow us to do it, they encourage us to help. This is special to me, because (Langham) is one of our members.” It’s special to Langham, too, because Beverly can no longer negotiate the stairs. He hopes to get her a motorized roundabout to allow her easier access to their home. On Thursday, he was very appreciative of the effort being put forth for him. “After they set the boards (the night before), Bev sat out on the deck for about two hours,” Langham said. “I feel good about what they’re doing. It means a lot to us.”