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Lane Construction visits East Rowan students

After a big thank you from local students, Lane Construction decided to pay them a visit.

After reading about Lane Construction donating a vehicle to local veterans, the students of Wendy Fontenot’s English classes at East Rowan High School wanted to say thank you.

The students wrote letters to the company, expressing thanks for their generosity.

Fontenot said the students read about the donation in the Salisbury Post and decided to write the letters because they care about veterans in the community.

“That’s a way that Rowan-Salisbury schools are trying to push things that are relevant to students,” Fontenot said.

After negotiations with Emkay, Inc., the company that held the lease on the car, Lane Construction was able to donate a Ford Explorer to the Disabled American Veterans, Salisbury Chapter 96, to help veterans get to appointments at the VA Hospital.

The DAV and Lane employees raised money to buy the DAV logo wrapping to put on the vehicle, with help from the Salisbury Rowan Runners. Grafix Systems in Concord wrapped the Explorer.

Lane Construction has been around for 125 years. According to their website, the corporation specializes in heavy civil construction services and products in the transportation, infrastructure and energy industries.

Lane partners with their customers to work on projects like highways, bridges, racetracks, mass transit and airport systems and the development of energy resources.

Because of the letters, Lane Constructions sent representatives to the school to give a presentation.

“Lane Construction, they were so moved by the letters that they contacted us and wanted to do something for our students,” Fontenot said. “And today was wonderful.”

The representatives talked to the students about the company in general, their current and past projects, safety, the community service Lane participates in and career development and opportunities the students might be interested in.

The presenters also encouraged the students to think of Lane, even if they did not decide to go to college.

Tommy Currence, prestress engineer and Community Service Committee treasurer for Lane, told the students that they can make a good living with a good work ethic, even if they did not have a college degree.

“When you get out of here, do something good. Don’t be a burden on your community, be a blessing,” he said. “Be a blessing, have a good work ethic and make something of yourself. You can do it. Whichever route you go, you absolutely can do it.”

The other Lane speakers and guests were Reba Stewart, office manager and CSC member; Tracy Chandonnet, human resources manager and CSC member; Dominick Barilla, paving superintendent, and Marcus Hackler, environmental coordinator and CSC chairman.

DAV Adjutant Treasurer Otto Borden spoke to the students and expressed how thankful he and other veterans are for the Explorer.

“I was thrilled when the letters were downloaded to me … because you don’t know what a lot of these (veterans) go through,” he said while tearing up.

Borden said the vehicle is especially helpful to blind veterans.

“There’s some eye issues and sight issues where veterans can’t drive,” he said, “and there’s nobody around to take them … to the VA.”

After the presentation, students asked questions about the company and how to apply for a job.

One student just wanted to say thank you.

“I just want to personally thank all of you for donating the vehicle to the veterans,” she said.

The students were also able to see the DAV’s vehicle in person and posed for pictures with it, the representatives from Lane and Borden.

Borden said with the Explorer being the only VA transportation van for Rowan County, many veterans who would have no other way to the VA Hospital are getting the help they need.

“It’s benefiting a lot of veterans. We’ve been pretty busy,” he said.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.

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