MASHPEE, Mass. — One act of kindness deserves another, especially when that kindness is being shown to the brave men and women who served in the military.
This was the case for Massachusetts-based Fraser Construction Company Inc., which held a contest that ultimately resulted in giving free roofs to two local veterans over Memorial Day Weekend.
Cory Varao, general manager at Fraser Construction, said after hearing about another roofing company donating a roof to a veteran, he and his marketing manager began working on their own roof giveaway program in November. They got in touch with Beacon Sales, which agreed to donate the materials. Fraser Construction agreed to donate the labor, meaning the winner would receive the roof at no cost.
To determine which deserving veteran should receive the roof, the company requested submissions from the public. From there, the company whittled down more than 150 entries into five finalists and asked the public to help choose the winner.
“If it were up to us and we could, we would do all of them,” Varao said. “They’re deserving, they shouldn’t probably even have to deal with this at all in the first place. Some of the stories and people that we had that were submitted, it was crazy, it was emotional.”
While the contest was taking place, Fraser Construction received a flood of support. Among them was a major surprise for the roofing contractor — an anonymous donor offering to pay for the second-place winner to receive a roof as well.
“It’s just crazy to us that this little thing we can do turns into all these other people that step up in a whole different way,” Varao said.
The first roof was donated to Brian Savage, who served in Desert Storm and in Noble Eagle. The project was expected to be completed Memorial Day Weekend. The second winner, World War II veteran John Davidson, 93, will have his roof completed in the coming week.
Thankfully, the COVID-19 pandemic did little to stop the momentum of the project, and business has actually been better than usual for the company. In fact, Varao said due to the response, Fraser Construction is considering holding another giveaway in the fall.
Fraser Construction has supported the military and its community long before the contest. It participates in Habitat for Humanity — receiving the organization's Golden Hammer for its work — and regularly donates to the United American Veterans. Varao said he was glad to hear that his fellow roofing contractors have been supporting veterans during the pandemic as well.
“I am always amazed at how many people step up during times like this for people in need, especially our veterans,” he said.