• damian

Don Cherco shouts "Hallelujah!!"

Don's joyous "Halleluja" was an enthusiastic response to the news that the Saint Matthews' Hartrey entry renovation project had passed the final inspection by the City of Evanston . The inspector, Chris Booker, as he signed off on the project, remarked that the railings, in particular, were done beautifully and professionally.

The project was a lengthy one and went through some transformations. But the end result was an entryway worthy of the welcoming spirit of Saint Matthews! The center and side hand rails will provide safe passage for all who enter.

And the new beds of pachysandras added a nice touch to the both the church and the entryway. Thanks to the Chercos and Ann Motogawa for the great idea! And to Eduardo from E&J landscaping who labored to get the plants in on time.

We were particularly happy that the project was completed in time for the guests and family who came to pay their respects and celebrate the well-lived life of Frances Tennison.

It also came in time for the opening of the church year and the festivities with St Andrews Pentecost and people from the neighborhood!

The railings were designed with a circle component to complement the railing design around the Memorial Garden. They are sturdy and functional as well as beautiful. Our thanks must go out to Leroy's Welding for their fine craftsmanship. The process of setting the railings took time, as the carbide tipped hole saw had to run at a slow pace when cutting the concrete. In the picture above, Jorge and Ricardo work together: Jorge operating the large drill and Ricardo capturing the dust with a shop vac.

The end result was well worth the wait.

There was also a spiritual and human side to the project as Jake Buss, our concrete contractor lost his mother suddenly to pancreatic cancer during the renovation and Neil, one of the owners of Leroy's Welding, had to deal with family health issues as well as business burdens. Both saw the project in a broader perspective than just a regular job and both made generous donations to the church that kept the cost of the project low. The architect, Donna Lee Floeter, a parishioner at Saint Nicholas, donated half her fee to St Matthews.

I do not want to risk bringing down on my white haired head the wrath of Don Cherco, but I have to say that his involvement in the project was priceless. Both for his professional expertise and ties to contractors, but also for the human warmth that he brought to relationships in the project.

And let the church say "Amen!"

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