Not far from the glitz and grandeur of the Las Vegas Strip are ‘regular’ neighborhoods with vibrant residents who love their communities but sometimes lack the resources or know-how to keep their homes from falling into disrepair.
Dozens of volunteers from the roofing industry arrived a day before the 2024 International Roofing Expo kicked off to do something about it. As part of the 15th annual IRE Community Service Day, participants boarded buses shortly after daybreak, heading to Henderson, just southeast of the Vegas Strip. The agenda included a range of renovations to help low-income seniors who otherwise couldn’t afford much-needed improvements.
The weather — unseasonably cold and rainy for February — impacted some of the planned exterior work but didn’t dampen the group’s determination and spirit to help. Rebuilding Together of Southern Nevada (RTSNV) referred the homeowners to event organizers. Since 1994, the local non-profit has helped refurbish the homes of residents aged 60 or older, military veterans, or multi-generational households with small children in and around Las Vegas.
Chief sponsor Sika Sarnafil brought 11 volunteers and presented RTSNV with a check for $15,000.
“We’re very excited to act as the main sponsor again for the community service day at the IRE,” said Bill Bellico, Sika’s Vice President of Marketing & Inside Sales. “This will be the 14th year doing so, and it has really become one of our favorite traditions … to work side-by-side with contractors and fellow suppliers to give back to the local community.”
The first home belonged to Rodney Mayo, a 72-year-old retired poker dealer with Chicago roots who moved to Las Vegas with their wife Sara in 1996. Their two children moved out years ago, and the Mayos have had difficulty keeping up with maintenance projects, including their roof. Several years ago, they added a room and a deck to their 2,000-square-foot home with the help of five other poker dealers with construction backgrounds. On Monday, volunteers tore out the rotted wood and refinished the deck to ensure the barbeque would last.
Due to funding restrictions, organizers from the RTSNV initially gave the Mayos a choice of replacing their roof or getting a new air conditioning unit. They chose the roof, but Community Service Day organizers raised enough funds and received donated materials to complete both projects.
“This is a blessing to have that taken care of,” Sara Mayo said. “At one point, we were capable of doing these projects ourselves, but that’s not the case anymore. If it weren’t for [these volunteers], my roof would’ve collapsed.”
While the rain prevented scheduled exterior painting, volunteers repaired the wood deck, installed a new lattice on the front deck wall, and completed yard cleanup.
A second group of volunteers headed to the home of Velma Taylor, a 74-year-old retired widow about five miles away in a different Henderson neighborhood. The long-time Las Vegas resident recently broke her foot, making everyday activities more of a challenge. She inherited the home, built in 1952, from her mother and said she tries as best as possible with regular maintenance and repairs.
However, even with two capable feet, several things are needed to improve her quality of life in the home that are beyond her capabilities.
Not long ago, RTSNV provided Taylor with a walk-in shower and grab bars and completed a few minor plumbing repairs. They replaced two broken window panes and two exterior doors.
Taylor said she was particularly grateful for the volunteers who poured tons of rocks to fill her front yard.
“I feel so blessed to know all these people came out to help me,” she said amid tears.
Volunteers went the extra mile with landscaping and laid down weed barriers under the newly rocked front yard and path along the driveway. They also repaired her broken wood fence, cemented the posts, and finished the yard cleanup she has been unable to do since her injury.
The full day of volunteering would not be possible without donations from roofing companies, industry professionals, and several sponsors. IRE attendees who couldn’t make the volunteer event can still contribute during the show registration process and participate in the Give Back Program to celebrate positively impacting the local community.
“It’s so rewarding to see members of the roofing industry come together, even competitors in some cases, to give back to a worthy cause,” Bellico said. “It really shows how much of a community the roofing world is.”
“Returning to Las Vegas for the event is special for me. When I took over my current position at Sika Sarnafil in 2017, I was able to participate in the community service day for the first time, which happened to be in Las Vegas, so it’s great to be back and helping pitch in a hand where it all started for me.”
Additional sponsors included GAF, which donated roofing materials for roof replacements; Carlisle, Centimark, OMG Roofing Products, ICP Building Solutions, and TORC Roofing Co.