Friends lend helping hand to widow
But the carpet replacement has snowballed into a major home renovation starting March 13 for New Milford resident
and her two young daughters Madisun, 7, and Sidney, 4.
While the girls and Mrs. Slupatchuk are away on a mini-vacation with her family, a group of local businessmen plan to make interior renovations, install a security system and replace windows over a 10-day period. The upgrades will help make the home more energy efficient and secure.
"It's been very overwhelming," Mrs. Slupatchuk, 39, said recently. "I'm definitely in shock. The whole thing is surreal."
Her husband, Bill, who was an owner of Villarina Pasta in Lore's Plaza in New Milford, was killed in a one-car accident Sept. 25.
Family and friends have rallied around the young widow, helping out at Villarina and holding a benefit roast beef dinner in October.
What's about to happen next has amazed Mrs. Slupatchuk.
Julie Welch wanted to do something nice for her friend and asked her husband Joe, the owner of Northeast Carpet & Flooring if there was a way to help get replacement carpet for the Slupatchuk's basement.
Joe Welch mentioned what they were planning to Julie's brother Mark Ciferri , a Ridgefield builder with Atlantic Building. He offered to help, as did Phil Besette, of Lasco Roofing, when he heard there were some roof leaks.
In just a few weeks, as word spread, more than two dozen businesses have become involved, either donating materials or time or both.
"Every single person who I called responded 'what do you need?'" Mr. Welch said. "It's the worst economic times we've seen in our lifetime, yet everyone responded."
He said he has been pleasantly surprised and grateful with the response.
"It's a group of friends getting together to help a good friend," he said, remarking some went to their suppliers for donations.
"I'm just the voice; we're all doing this together," Mr. Welch said.
Maureen Welch, Joe's mother, said many of those donating knew each other as ball players.
"It's nice to see the team that was there as players now helping as businessmen," she said.
Mr. Welch said some involved never knew Bill, but they knew of him.
"Joey and the others have been amazing," said an emotional Mrs. Slupatchuk, who admits to crying at the thought of what everyone is doing. "It's really nice to have such a great home town. New Milford is definitely showing its true colors and it shows how much they loved [Bill] and miss him."
If anyone wants to help with the work or make a donation, contact Joe Welch at (860) 354-2600.
Companies donating supplies include:
ä In New Milford -- Scott's Landscaping, B & B Mason Supply; Ring's End Lumber; Northeast Carpet & Flooring; Lasco Roofing and Sheetmetal; Steve's Deli; AFI Heating and Air Conditioning; Powerhouse Appliances; Modern Plumbing.
ä In Danbury -- Metro Roofing Supplies; F & M Electric Supply Co.; Danbury Plumbing & Supply.
ä In Brookfield: East Coast Building Supplies, Brookfield Glass.
ä In Bethel: Lo Presti & Sons Carting
ä In Newtown: Safe & Sound Alarm Services.
Crews include: Sean Scanlan from Scanlan Plumbing; Phil Besette from Lasco Roofing & Sheetmetal; Joe Welch from Northeast Carpet & Flooring, Mark Ciferri from Atlantic Building Contractors; Pete Moller from Country Life Construction; Maylo Bizier from Bizier Drywall; Paul Dumas of Dumas Drywall, Howard Hantsch of Hantsch Electric; and Anthony Le Rose, of Le Rose Heating and Air Conditioning.