New Castle News

New Castle

May 13, 2014

Photos, Story: SRU, Ne-Ca-Hi athletes assemble new beds at nursing home

NEW CASTLE — Twenty-four athletes faced a different sort of challenge Monday.

They assembled 204 electric hydraulic lift beds beds, then rolled them into residents’ rooms at Golden Hill Nursing Home on Friendship Street.

The volunteers included 10 New Castle High School football and basketball players and 14 football players from Slippery Rock University.

The young men pitched in to lend a hand at the request of Steve Saylor and Frank Bongivengo, who are assistant football coaches at Slippery Rock University.  Bongivengo also is a teacher at New Castle High School, and Saylor is director of facilities management for Quality Life Services, which recently bought Golden Hill and runs 10 other homes in western Pennsylvania.

Saylor said the students were spending the day carrying the boxed beds, weighing 250 to 300 pounds, into the home’s courtyard, then assembling them and taking them inside. The athletes also will take the old beds out of the facility.

The athletes had no training in assembling beds, but went to work after being given a little instruction by maintenance workers at the home. Saylor said the group of athletes will help the changeover to be made with the least possible disruption at the home.

“Complete kudos to them,” said Saylor, noting that all the students volunteered for the project and some of the SRU students came out on their summer break to do it.

Several of the athletes said they came back they wanted to give back, and because their coaches have done so much for them.

“I feel good to give back to the community,” said Jamire Dutrieville of SRU.

Robert Natale of New Castle High said the work wasn’t that hard but the beds “were heaver than I thought they would be.”

So what’s harder anyway, carrying heavy beds or practicing football in the hot sun?

“Football practice,” one athlete grinned.

(To view a photo gallery, CLICK HERE.)


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