The Germanna Foundation is an organization that survives and thrives because of the great members we have.
For those that may not know it, there is a tremendous amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to keep the Germanna Foundation moving forward.
Today’s message will put the spotlight on Skip and Joy Poole who serve as a shining example of how some selflessly contribute to Germanna in ways not generally given much attention.
The Germanna Visitor Center is a beautiful jewel for our Foundation as is the fabulous manor home Salubria.
Visitors to either of these venues can marvel at the testament they give to the mission of Germanna.
Some of the work necessary to maintain these jewels, however, is not always so glorious.
For example, let’s consider the Visitor Center where there are so many tasks that must be done which are generally only noticed when those tasks remain undone.
How does the Visitor Center stay so clean and beautiful? How do the grounds stay so well maintained? How does the plumbing keep functioning?
And, you get the point. Well, without diminishing the efforts of others who help in many ways, today’s piece focuses on Skip and Joy Poole who recently showered the Germanna Foundation’s Visitor Center with their efforts in ways that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Their example of dedication to the Germanna Foundation serves as an example to us all.
It was recently announced that the Germanna Foundation will host a celebration in memory of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 7 at the Visitor Center.
So, Joy Poole arranged for a house cleaner, Diana, to help clean the Visitor Center. Joy and Skip then met Diana at 8:30 a.m. at the Visitor Center with cleaning supplies, rolls of paper towels, flower bulbs, and a ladder.
Skip began cleaning the glass windows of Foundation secretary Sandy Allyson’s office (both inside and outside, for a total of 64 large window panes) and their frames.
Joy and Diana attacked the stone foyer and the bathroom floors. The foyer was vacuumed several times with a wet mop cleansing sandwiched between the vacuuming.
Everyone loves to clean bathrooms, especially when they are not yours (am I wrong here?). On to the Visitor Center’s bathrooms. It was quickly discovered that the commodes were not flushing correctly, so Diana called a handyman she knew.
He arrived, but said since all four commodes were acting the same way, the problem was probably a blockage in the line from the Visitor Center.
Yikes! Since the handyman did not have a long snake, he suggested calling in a Roto Router plumber, which Joy did. Joy persuaded them to put the Visitor Center at the top of their service call list.
Undaunted, Joy and Diana proceeded to:
* Clean and wash down all floor moldings in the foyer and throughout the museum area and library;
* Diana cleaned the 33 steps up to the top of the Visitor Center with a water-and-vinegar solution (they now really look clean and beautiful);
* Diana also cleaned all the wood flooring throughout the Visitor Center including the museum and library floors and the two front office floors, all with the water-and-vinegar solution;
* And Skip cleaned the bathroom ceiling light fixtures (which were full of dead bugs) and replaced the burned-out bathroom ceiling fan light bulbs. (Obviously, Skip is a bit of a bathroom expert!)
Fred from Roto Rooter arrived at noon. He observed the operation of the commodes for about 2 minutes, went to his truck for a screw driver and large wrench, checked a couple assemblies at the one woman’s commode, and announced his suspicion of the problem … that the Visitor Center low water pressure was not a result of something stuck in the drainage line from the VC, but rather a blocked-up filter. Yikes again.
So to the back room Fred and Skip went. Fred turned off the water supply and unscrewed the filter housing, which was filled with wet red clay (apparently, that Virginia red clay is not just for beautiful bricks).
The filter itself was totally caked with at least a quarter-inch of red clay, and the base of the housing had a good inch of wet red clay in its bottom. No wonder the commodes did not flush correctly … water just could not get through the filter to feed the commodes.
Skip happened to find one new filter in the back room so Fred replaced the filter and recharged the water system. Voila!
The commodes work beautifully now. And water pressure is back! Fred’s $185 fee was well worth it. (Not a great expense, but one example of how keeping the Germanna Foundation up and running does not come free even with the great efforts of our members.)
Skip was then inspired to write a step-by-step procedure on how to replace this water line filter, so in the future, we can do this maintenance ourselves. Thus, the water problems we experienced before the July 2009 Conference and Reunion were all caused by this blocked filter. Operations are now ready for the Berlin Wall event and other events planned for the Visitor Center.
The Visitor Center was not through in demanding attention.
Skip, Joy and Diana took out three bags of trash from the back room, emptied all other trash receptacles throughout the Visitor Center (including those in the restrooms – yep, Skip was back in the restrooms again). All of that trash then was removed to the local trash facility.
Still not done, all furniture had to be put back in place, and Joy planted five flower bulbs in the small triangular memorial garden (the deer recently dined on her six petunia plants).
A total of 15 solid hours of work was put in with the result being that unless you knew what happened you might visit the Germanna Visitor Center and be blissfully unaware of that type of effort from Skip, Joy, Diana and let’s not forget Fred.
So, in addition to expressing our appreciation to the above-named cleaning crusaders, remember the next time you visit the Visitor Center or Salubria, to try to imagine the unseen efforts and expenses required to keep these jewels of Germanna shining brightly!
What a great thing to be a part of an organization that inspires that kind of effort from its members. And remember, Germanna welcomes the efforts of all its members.
If you would like to help the Germanna Foundation in some way, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.