A challenge was issued and William Bacon of BaMar Inc. decided to meet it.

Robert Thornhill Sr. of Rainbow Painting in Vidor started to notice that Veterans Memorial Park in Port Arthur, near the Veterans Memorial Bridge, was “starting to look shabby” and made the decision to do something about it. He and Lavoy Wilkerson Jr. cleaned up and painted the displays. From there, they continued on to paint the trim and anything else that needed it.

“We’re in this kind of business,” Thornhill said. “It’s what we do, and this gesture is just something that we’re able to do.”

Thornell also offered a challenge to other companies to do what they can to help out other locations.

Bacon took him up on the task. The project manager of BaMar Sandblasting and Coatings is repainting the Bridge City Fire Station. He will also work on the new Orangefield substation, but it has only minimal damage to repair.

Bacon chose the fire station because he is a volunteer firefighter with the department.

The station is operational, but it “took a big hit,” said Bacon. “But we’re slowly getting back.” The fire house generator and lawnmower was lost – among other things – in Hurricane Ike.

Trucks were damaged rescuing 656 people from flooded homes and streets after the storm. Dispatch had to be moved upstairs until repairs could be made.

The fire department, which is funded through tax dollars, has resumed training firefighters. 

“We’re losing a lot of tax money,” said Bacon. Property values are down and some people are leaving the area rather than rebuilding.

“Our commissioners are helping us 100 percent,” he said.

He has been a member of the department less than a year , but was previously with a Rhode Island station for 10 years.

Thinking the station would be a good candidate for the challenge, Bacon and his crew painted Tuesday and Wednesday, trying to get the station spiffed up in time for Friday’s banquet at the station.

Not only answering Thornhill’s challenge, he re-issues it to others “to help out in their neighborhood.”

BaMar does industrial sandblasting and painting, but lately has taken on a few other chores. “People have been bringing their metal storm doors for us to refinish. Anything that needs sandblasting and painting, we can do it,” Bacon said.

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.