Pipeline project workers pile on mountain of Toys 4 Tots
HUGHESVILLE – What started as a simple collection for a localToys 4 Tots, has now turned into a “mountain” warehouse full of toys and gifts that came together with pride, joy, and gratitude from the LATEX Consruction Company.
Superintendent Don Cupit said the company temporarily relocated in Wolf Township the day after Labor Day and will be here until spring working for Williams-Transco installing 30 miles of 42 inch industrial pipeline from Rt. 118 down through Columbia County near Bloomsburg.
Bringing with them over 65 employees, the 70 year old company decided on the property at 5368 Rt. 220, just north of Hughesville.
Their headquarters are in Georgia but they have made Hughesville their home for the past four months. A specialty contracting company in construction with heavy equipment, they have sub-contrcted an additional 300 employees to work on the project to meet a spring deadline.
“We are from all over,” said Holly Andrews, field office manager and named the states of Alaska, New Mexico, Arizona, Florida, Maine and Pennsylvania. “This is the Atlantic Sunrise Project,” she said and a bid brought them here. Originally from Louisianna, she commented on the “beautiful country” here.
There are different phases of the pipeline project known as the Transco pipeline to supply natural gas from the Marcellus project to companies and landowners throughout the eastern United States. “We are in different phases,” said Cupit, “with 7 sections of spreads of 160 miles of pipeline.”
The Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project is based in Oklahoma and owned by the Williams Partners, contractors who manage large-scale pipeline projects.
Locally, Andrews said there are safety meetings scheduled every Monday morning, and it was at one of those meetings when they discussed donations for Toys 4 Tots. “We were welcomed here and we wanted to give back to this community,” Andrews said.
“It was around Thanksgiving time when everybody started bringing things in.” And the pile just kept growing. Soon there were bikes and trikes and a mountain of toys and games that kept getting bigger every day according to Andrews who begins her day in the field office at 6:00 a.m. There were more than 3 dozen bicycles and tricycles, plus toys for all ages from newborn to age 15.
Another office for Latex Construction Co. is located in Bloomsburg and staff from sub-contractors that included Dykon Blasting, PeBen, and Allen Edwards Company all contributed to the Toys 4 Tots. Andrews said this totaled to almost 700 full-time employees. “Those who did not have the time to shop donated money, and some of us did the shopping,” she added. “Some employees donated $500.”
Angie Sammons, who also works in the field office, said she went to local stores in the area such as the mall and some of the major retailers. On Monday morning, December 18 at 6 a.m. before they started work, Andrews asked several employees to assist those with the U.S. Marine Corps (sponsors of the program) when they came to load.
Besides contributions for Toys 4 Tots, employees with the pipeline project also gave food to the Son-Light House in Muncy and warm coats for a clothing drive. The generosity of everyone went beyond all expectations. “The Pipeline is a very giving industry. It is not unusual for us to do this,” Andrews said.
With the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, the employees work round the clock. A Thanksgiving dinner was prepared on-site and over 150 attended. “We really liked the cakes and pies we ordered from Kathy’s Cafe,” said Sammons who is renting a house in Muncy. “The people are real friendly and helpful here,” she said. “And we love your sticky buns,” added Andrews. “They are worth getting.”