When Aquatic’s customer, The Granite Group, recently approached us about donating an ADA shower for the family home of Boston Marathon bombing victim, Jeff Bauman, our answer was an unequivocal “yes!”
You likely have seen news reports about Bauman because the media have covered him extensively – at the time of the bombing and subsequently as he has been recovering from the horrific event that dramatically changed his life in an instant. On April 15, the 27-year-old Costco deli worker from Chelmsford, Mass. was waiting for his girlfriend, a race contestant, near the marathon’s finish line when the first of the two bombs detonated and hit him. Later that day, doctors amputated both his legs.
To help Jeff as he faces the many challenges of life as a double amputee, friends, neighbors, people from his stepmother’s church and both local and national businesses have joined forces to help renovate the family home in Concord, New Hampshire for accessibility. Although the initial plan was to simply add an exterior wheelchair ramp to the traditional 1940s, New England-style house, the project quickly expanded to include a 525-square-foot addition with an accessible bedroom, bathroom and laundry room, plus the kitchen will be relocated – all to ensure that Jeff can get around and function independently.
“We hope that Aquatic’s donation of this accessible shower will enable Jeff to bathe with the same ease and safety as before last April’s tragic event,” said Stacy Zar, Director of Marketing and New Product Development, Aquatic. “As a company, we strive everyday to make people’s lives better in small ways, but it’s humbling to think that a simple product could affect Jeff’s life significantly.”
Cobb Hill Construction, also located in Concord, is spearheading the renovation, which has involved rounding up donations of products, materials and services from more than 70 companies. Cobb Hill also has been coordinating approximately 100 volunteers – skilled craftspeople, community residents, friends and relatives – who are helping with all aspects of the construction. Area restaurants have been providing on-site meals for all the workers as well as restaurant certificates for the Bauman family while it is without a functional kitchen.
The Granite Group, one of the top 50 plumbing, heating and PVF wholesale distributors in the United States, is among the companies that Cobb Hill approached for donating materials. Also based in Concord, Granite has 26 locations serving New England and Eastern New York, and is a major supplier for Cobb Hill.
“The Boston Marathon bombing was a national tragedy that also hit close to home since the Bauman family lives in Concord and Jeff frequently visits his relatives here,” said Rand Hinman, Director of Showrooms, The Granite Group. “Jointly donating an ADA shower with Aquatic is a relatively small thing that we are easily able to do but it hopefully will have a big, positive impact on Jeff’s quality of life for years to come.”
We are very proud to do business with customers such as The Granite Group – with companies that want to get involved with projects that make the world a better place, whether for communities of people or one deserving person at a time.
Director of The Ultimate Bath Stores