By TIM ROWDEN
Maryland Heights – Painters and Allied Trades District Council 58’s Young Lions, a group of young union painters who band together to do community outreach throughout the year, repainted a physical therapy room for Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital Dec. 5 as part of the Painters’ PATCH (Painters and Allied Trades for Children’s Hope) program.
They returned Dec. 19 with Santa to distribute presents and spread some holiday cheer to the children who are patients there.
“We repainted a physical therapy room for them and for a group of kids,” said Zach Crites, president of the Young Lions, adding that the group plans to perform a different project for the hospital each year as part of its annual outreach.
“If it’s for the kids we’re definitely going to look at it,” Crites said.
"Two of the big reasons we decided to try to keep doing every year for Ranken Jordan is that are all about the Kids and Ranken Jordan serves very sick patients, 85 percent of whom are there through the Medicaid system. Many children come from very poor situations and we want to help Ranken Jordan take care of them, too. And the results are astounding.
“We’ve seen kids there who are in a wheelchair from a head trauma and four of five months later they walk out of there,” Crites said.
Painter Ron Riley’s late wife Shari worked at Ranken Jordan and several painters made donations to the hospital in her memory.
“They’re just a great group of people,” Ranken Jordan President and CEO Lauri Tanner said. “They are very involved with the kids and love the mission of what we do. Several of them have made nice donations to the hospital. It was just beautiful. It was a beautiful day.”
In addition to their generosity, the Painters were able to complete a much needed project.
“We’ve been very busy in our facilities department,” Tanner said. “It would have been impossible for us to do what they did, and they were able to get it done in one day. What they did for Ranken Jordan let’s us put what we would have spent on having it done right back into the kids.
“They’re just a great group of people.”