By Brandon Bosworth, Assistant Editor, Ho`okele
As part of Forest City’s 11th annual community day, more than 160 employees from Forest City Residential Management spent May 9 volunteering on Ford Island.
Volunteers cleaned, painted, sorted, landscaped, and removed rust and debris from historical sites such as the Battleship Missouri Memorial, the Pacific Aviation Museum, the USS Utah Memorial and the USS Oklahoma Memorial.
Capt. Jeffrey James, commander of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, kicked off the event. He greeted the Forest City workers, thanked them for volunteering, and talked about the importance of recognizing the sacrifices made by service members and their families.
“The superb service you- the Forest City Team-provide our service members and their families is first rate and is as much of a mission enabler as anything. When service members deploy, they do so knowing that their families are going to be well taken care of, thus enabling them to focus on the mission at hand and not worry about a leaky roof from afar,” James said.
“I know this firsthand , having been a very happy and satisfied Forest City resident for nearly eight years,” he said.
Forest City’s annual community day is a day in which Forest City donates thousands of employee hours as a way of giving back to local communities.
“Besides providing quality homes, at Forest City we try to give back to those who have made sacrifices,” said Marc Sibal, Forest City quality assurance manager.
In previous years, Forest City volunteers have worked at schools or at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl). For 2014, it was decided to do something at JBPHH.
“This year we decided to keep it closer to home and to those who have served and continue to serve,” said Judy Durand, executive administrative assistant, Forest City.
“We reached out to the Battleship Missouri Memorial, the Pacific Aviation Museum and the [national] parks service to see if there was anything we could do for them.”
Up to four hours were allotted to complete the work, but the volunteer teams managed to finish in less than two hours and do additional tasks as well.
“With a can-do attitude, we completed all the requested work and more,” said Durand. “It was a huge success.”