Assemblymember Monica P. Wallace (D-Lancaster) on Friday honored members of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 4 for volunteering tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of labor to help maintain the USS The Sullivans at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park.
Last spring, the Naval Park directors reached out to the Finishing Trades Institute of Western and Central New York, the training and education department of IUPAT DC 4, to request assistance for maintenance to the USS The Sullivans and several structures at the Naval Park. The Naval Park struggled to pay for the cost of the maintenance due to drops in attendance caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
IUPAT agreed and provided six apprentices to paint the starboard side of the USS The Sullivans over a week during the summer, working from a floating barge. Union members plan to paint the ship’s port side this coming spring.
In addition, the union volunteered their labor to repaint the lobby in the Naval Park museum, repaint the walls and ceiling in the Hangar Building, and install a high-performance epoxy floor in the Hangar. Union members spent eight days to complete these projects, with assistance from Flex Epoxy Floor owner Mike Jonas. Altogether, the donated labor from IUPAT was valued at over $60,000.
“Our community is lucky to have such generous IUPAT members donating their time to improve our community,” said Assemblymember Wallace. “The Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park is a Western New York icon and a valuable institution for learning about military history. Thanks to the generosity of IUPAT’s brothers and sisters in labor, this monument to our courageous servicemembers will stand for many decades more.”
“The Buffalo Naval Park is a showpiece of Western New York that we are all very proud of. Our members take great pride in helping to preserve this memorial to our veterans, and we appreciate the recognition from Assemblymember Wallace,” said IUPAT DC4 Organizer Wesley Schlossin. “The members of the IUPAT are committed to giving back to the communities in which they live and work. We hope to inspire others to do the same.”
“We are extremely grateful to the members of IUPAT for their generous efforts to make improvements to the USS The Sullivans and the Hangar Building,” said Buffalo Naval Park President and CEO Paul Marzello, Sr. “Their actions honor the sacrifices made by all those who served on this historic ship and active military serving around the globe today.”
The Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park is the largest inland naval park in the United States and features four decommissioned U.S. Navy vessels, as well as a museum, exhibits, and the monuments garden to honor fallen servicemembers. USS The Sullivans was a Fletcher-class destroyer that deployed in World War II and the Korean War and was named after the five Sullivan brothers, who died together in combat aboard the USS Juneau in 1942; it’s the only U.S. Navy ship named after more than one person.