Texas Ramps, Rotary Club complete ramp build
By LYNETTE SOWELL
A wheelchair-bound teen who lives on Barr Lane in Copperas Cove now has easier access to and from their home, thanks to the combined efforts of an organization called Texas Ramps, which together with volunteers from the Rotary Club of Copperas cove, built a ramp on Saturday morning.
A total of seven volunteers gave up their Saturday morning to build a ramp at the front entrance to the home.
Denis Pepin is with Texas Ramps and is also a member of the Georgetown Rotary Clube.
He and fellow Rotarians George Lourigan and Dale Kellerman led the Copperas Cove Rotarians through the process of building the ramp.
“We construct about one ramp per month. Last weekend, we were in Liberty Hill, where we completed our 40th ramp build,” said Pepin.
He and fellow volunteers with Texas Ramps guided volunteers including Richardson, Shanikwa Green-Richardson, Sarah Seidler, and Eric Armstrong in constructing a ramp that is ADA compliant, along with being built to last.
Lourigan showed the volunteers how to first use weatherproof caulk to form a watertight seal where the ramp’s sheet of plywood surface joins with the frame and the edge of the house’s front porch.
“You put this down, and any rain won’t get underneath the ramp and cause the wood to buckle,” Lourigan said.
Although this is not the first ramp project that the Rotary Club has helped build in Copperas Cove, this is the group’s first ramp built with Texas Ramps in Copperas Cove, said Rotary Club president Patrick Richardson.
Prior to Saturday’s ramp build, the Copperas Cove Rotarians had assisted with several ramp projects led by the Killeen-Heights Rotary Club and Bob Crouch, with Rotary and also Grace United Methodist Church of Copperas Cove. Each ramp project is different.
For example, one prior project in Copperas Cove was at Cove House, and included the construction of a new ramp along with a new front porch deck. It was also a much larger project than the one completed on Saturday.
“Bob (Crouch) was instrumental in helping us get started here in Copperas Cove,” said Armstrong.
Texas Ramps is a 501(c) 3, non-governmental, non-denominational, volunteer-staffed nonprofit that accepts referrals for ramp projects from social workers and healthcare professionals who determine a client’s need for a ramp at their home.
Since 1985, Texas Ramps has constructed 14,490 ramps with 434,745 volunteer hours. According to the group’s website, priority is given to those who are returning from hospice facilities, are dialysis patients, along with those who are living alone and are unable to exit their home. More information about Texas Ramps can be found at TexasRamps.org.