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Contact: Tom Peric | Published On: Saturday, February 22, 2020

Philadelphians Donate Time and Skills During Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day of Service

Union Carpenters and Contractors Serve as Mentors to ACE Mentor Students

Volunteers from the Philadelphia community put words into action by donating their time and construction skills to build cedar picnic benches and tables on Jan. 20, 2020, as a salute to Martin Luther King Jr. on a day dedicated to his national call to service.

More than 75 volunteers spent a full day constructing benches and tables at the Houseman Recreation Center, in the Summerdale section of Philadelphia, under the supervision of union carpenters and contractors. "This effort brought together a number of building organizations from across the Philadelphia area to exemplify Dr. King's call to service," said Ben Connors, president, General Building Contractors Association (GBCA). "We welcome the opportunity to share in this volunteer effort with carpenters from Local 158 and Clemens Construction Company Inc. (Clemens), who helped the ACE Mentor Program students and volunteers craft these attractive and sturdy picnic tables."

Founded in 2000, the ACE Mentor Program of Greater Philadelphia gives students from local high schools an exciting opportunity to learn more about potential careers in architecture, engineering and construction. "It's always rewarding to work with the ACE students and support their construction of something needed for the local community on this important day of service," said Carol Horne Penn, Vice President of Business Development & Corporate Relations, Clemens. "Our firm believes in honoring Dr. King's legacy with the contribution of our time and talent to support both the students and the Philadelphia community."

In addition to GBCA and Clemens Construction Co. Inc., volunteers also included the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, ACE Mentor Program and representatives from Councilwoman Cherelle Parker's office.

Drawing attention to the larger message of this volunteer effort, Connors recalled Dr. King's quote, "Everyone can be great, because anybody can serve," which he says symbolizes the need for everyone to serve in a manner of their choosing.

The volunteers will place the finished picnic tables at the main entrance and pool area of the recreation center, allowing residents to interact more easily and giving families wonderful new tables at which to picnic, sit and watch their children play.


The Carpenter Contractor Trust (CCT) is a labor-management trust located in Edison, New Jersey. Promoting the vast resources of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC) thousands of members and participating contractor regional partners.

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