By Lisa Berthiaume, PER - State DAP Chairman
Things have been very busy in February and March concerning the Drug Awareness Trailer.  The DAP trailer has been part of the program for 12 years.  It was brand new back then and quite an addition to the program.  But time, weather, miles and general use have taken their toll so it was time for a make-over.  When I began this project with Pat Miller, the East District DAP Chairman, we had no idea the scope or cost of the project, but we quickly learned!  Bids were solicited and we soon realized we could not simply remove the old decals and apply new ones.  A more extensive overhaul was required and an angel came on the scene by the name of Andrew Hewitt of Ranco Collision in South Windsor, a member of Manchester Lodge No. 1893.  Without hesitation, Andy volunteered his time, garage, tools, material and labor to not only remove the decals, but sand, power wash, paint, buff, and polish the exterior of the trailer.  He did this with the help of several employees, Tim & Brian, as well as a few members from Manchester Lodge, Chris Terry and Mike Vassallo.  He then reached out to his business associate, Rudy Cerpa of Creative Graphics & Designs of East Hartford, who also volunteered his expertise to design, create and apply the new decals.  So far this cost our program nothing!
I would like to acknowledge that this would not have been possible had it not been for Pat Miller's persistence in soliciting bids and learning about the process but MOST importantly, doggedly researching and finding a high resolution image of our beloved Elroy the Elk by way of South Carolina's State DAP Chairman, Gerry Kirkland.
Additionally some safety issues were addressed such as repacking the wheel bearings, applying non-skid tape to the rear entrance and purchasing new rims and wheels (at wholesale).
Interior re-painting should be completed as well in April by Rick Berthiaume.
I'd like to formally acknowledge and extend a tip of the antlers to the following businesses and individuals.
" Pat Miller - Westbrook Lodge, East District DAP Chairman
" Andrew Hewitt - Manchester Lodge, Ranco Collision and his employees Tim & Brian
" Rudy Cerpa, Creative Graphics & Designs
" Chris Terry - Manchester Lodge
" Mike Vassallo - Manchester Lodge
" Rick Berthiaume - Manchester Lodge
" Sherwin-Williams Automotive of Hartford
" Gerry Kirkland - South Carolina DAP State Chairman
" PRO CAL, Concord, NC (Cindy Garvin and John Chapman)