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Team Depot supports Orion Art Center

July 27, 2011 - By Olivia Shumaker

Special Writer for The Review

Lake Orion residents take pride in supporting local businesses, through rain, snow, and less than perfect street construction. The last week of June, it was the Orion Art Center's turn to be supported.

The Orion Art Center has served the community since 1979 as a nonprofit organization offering classes, exhibits, camps and various special events. "Our mission is to bring the arts, in all its forms, to the residents in the community," said Reggie Harrison, director of the Orion Art Center. As it has grown,so has the art center's needs.

After Harrison met Alana Hart, district captain of the Lake Orion Home Depot's Team Depot, a discussion began about refurbishing the Orion Art Center. Team Depots help nonprofit organizations with projects and financial assistance, with work done solely through volunteerism of Home Depot employees.

This year, Home Depot was contacted by the Orion Art Center for refurbishing the building. They received a visit from Hart and co-captain Mark Nelson, who made a wish list of what they would like to accomplish.

"Once we determine what we can help with, we create a bid and the bid is then submitted to the corporate office. Then, based on approval of the numbers, the corporation will send a gift card based on the amount of what the bid was for," said Nelson. Team Depot received a $13,000 grant for the art center project.

After the Miller and Hilebrand families made the upstairs navigable, Team Depot went to work, along with a few art center volunteers; Patty Campbell, Deb Lovell, and Laura Crowder.

Team Depot replaced two storm doors; installed window air conditioners; replaced the water heater, refrigerator and screen doors; and painted all of the downstairs rooms.

Part of Nelson's job involves convincing employees to take on a project on their day off. He has found employees enjoy the projects more than they would initially have believed. "Usually, most people come out for a few hours and end up staying the whole day because they like it so much," said Nelson.

Upstairs, they painted the main rooms, carpeted, and installed shelving units and a whiteboard, as well as added storage bins. Outside, volunteers built and painted four picnic benches and three benches.

"Having this facelift is a gift, not just to the art center, but also the community because we are more up-to-date," said Harrison. "We're really grateful to Home Depot and Alana and all of the great volunteers."

The art center is open from noon to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, as well as Saturday from noon to 3 p.m.

Currently, the center is hosting the Healing Power of Art until August 12, and will soon host Dragon on the Lake festivities. Harrison invites visitors to take a look at Home Depot's handiwork.

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