May 17, 2024 | When an equipment trailer for the Special Olympics Michigan Eaton and Ingham County Area 8 bocce ball courts went missing, Lansing-area law enforcement, community members, and team members from Granger Construction and Myers Plumbing and Heating, Inc. united to build a creative solution.

Days before a 500-athlete track and field and bocce ball tournament was scheduled to take place at Michigan State University, a trailer loaded with gear and equipment was reported stolen. As local law enforcement officials responded, Chief Deputy Darin Southworth of Ingham County Sheriff’s office reached out to Granger Construction Project Manager Mark Butler (who was managing closeout projects for the newly complete Ingham County Justice Complex).

“Chief Southworth asked if we knew a plumbing company that might give, sell or loan a large amount of PVC pipe that could be used to create a replacement court for the tournament,” noted Butler. “They needed about 8 lanes of 12′ x 60′ long of 4″ PVC. I thought the temporary borrow angle would have the highest likelihood of success, so I designed a court that could be assembled with no cutting, gluing or damaging of pipe regardless of if it came in 10′ or 20′ lengths. I asked Zac Elkins and Jeff Capel [Granger team members working at the Michigan State University Student Recreation and Wellness Center project] if they knew any contractors I should try first. Both mentioned Myers Plumbing and Heating. Jeff talked to Rick from Myers Heating at the MSU project and Rick called his Vice President, Chad Myers, and prepped him for my call. I called late Wednesday and Chad Myers was immediately on board.”

Michigan Special Olympics bocce ball court

After Butler shared a design take-off, equaling about $2,800 worth of pipe, Myers Plumbing and Heating was able to deliver the exact quantity to Michigan State’s East Lansing campus within only 36 hours’ notice. Once on site, Granger team members Jeff Capel and Scotty Arthur assisted in managing logistics for transporting the materials. Ingham County Sheriff’s Office team members staffing the Special Olympics event assisted in assembling and disassembling the replacement course for the May 10 event. The tournament itself was a huge success. Then Granger team members assisted in returning the donated the undamaged pipe materials to Myers Plumbing and Heating.

Shout-out to the many community members who helped design and execute this creative solution, and congratulations to the many athletes who competed in the May 10 Special Olympics events!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.