Volume 34, Number 9,  September 1999



A Ray of Hope

It felt almost the same as the moment I had heard about JFK’s death, or when they announced the space shuttle had blown up. But the feeling was tinged with an entirely new emotion: abject personal failure. When I first heard about the shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO, I felt that I, we, everyone had somehow failed at something I couldn’t even define. Even now months later, after all the second-guessing, all the media hype, the feeling of hopelessness and failure remains.

And with all the talk of hopelessness these days—about our society, our youth and even about what associations will and will not do for their members, it’s nice to get the chance to spotlight a group that grew hope from such despair. The group is the Colorado Glazing Contractors Association (CGCA), based in Denver. The CGCA is an active, involved group that has quite a lot to offer the industry and its members.

Which is why CGCA president Joel Watson of Elward Construction in Denver sprang to action after the news. Together with Les Law of Metropolitan Glass, also in Denver, they organized an effort to donate the CGCA’s time and efforts to repair and replace the glass before the first day of school. “It was a very tight time frame and under very tough working conditions,” said Watson. “The glaziers who did the work are to be commended. It was an active crime scene and you could definitely tell what happened there. It was the hardest work many of us will ever do.”

The CGCA actually began their efforts before the involvement of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Colorado, which eventually took over coordination of the work. “It was good for us to do something positive. We also got to work together as trade organizations and built up some strong ties there,” says Watson. “It was a small consolation, but at least it was something positive.”

The CGCA had originally donated all time and materials to the project, but changed that when it found out insurance would pay for the work. “We ended up billing the insurance company,” says Law, “and then donating all the proceeds back to the high school. We wanted the funds to get to the school, not to us.”
At a meeting earlier this month, the association honored both Watson and Law along with the glaziers who did the work. They are Dick Kovrcs and Brad Rynhardt of A-1 Glass; Sam Guffy and Steve Patrick of Elward Construction; Tom Horton of Gump Glass, Don Lenhart and Dwayne Farris of Horizon Glass, and Joe Darr, Russell Reed, William Porter, Sean Milan, Eric Newman, Robert Talmadge of Metropolitan. An industry-wide thank you is due all these gentleman.

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And on another, hopeful note, we’d like to announce a birth. The special supplement, AGRR: driving the auto glass repair and replacement industry will turn into a separate magazine beginning with the January-February issue. AGRR will be devoted to providing accurate, unbiased information to all those involved in auto glass. It will also be a publication that you can provide to everyone in the shop—including installers—without having to worry about the quality of the information. You’ll see by looking through the supplement that we’ve tried to develop a publication that will add to the professionalism of the industry.

As a reader of USGlass, you can order a complimentary subscription to AGRR.    -Deb


Copyright 1999 Key Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.