True Value in Cary to donate paint to combat veterans' retreat
After more than 17 years working at True Value Manufacturing in Cary, Todd Myers has a reputation in his hometown of Oregon, Illinois, as "the paint guy."
"I'm kind of known in my town as the go-to guy for any paint-related questions," said Myers, senior learning consultant for True Value.
Myers also has spent the past three years donating money to a combat veterans retreat being constructed in Tennessee called the Darkhorse Lodge. So when they asked him if True Value would be interested in donating paint to help with the project, he immediately started the approval process.
According to its website, "Darkhorse Lodge will be a retreat for combat veterans of all branches to come to relax, fish on Kentucky Lake and communicate with others who have walked in their boots."
Myers said the average number of combat veterans who die by suicide on a daily basis is about 22.
"I immediately thought, you know, this is a very worthy cause," Myers said. "It's something that these veterans need, to have a place to go and heal."
Myers went to True Value's Manufacturer's divisional vice president, John Vanderpool, who also saw it as a worthy cause.
"He agreed. ... This is a problem, that not a lot of people have heard about, and (Darkhorse Lodge) is something that can help," Myers said. "It's all about being a good steward and supporting communities and our veterans."
True Value is set to send about 50 to 75 gallons, or coverage of 15,000 square feet, to the Darkhorse Lodge through the factory's new Paint Plus Hardware store location. The goal is to get the paint to the Darkhorse Lodge by mid-April.
The lodge is named after the U.S. Marine Corps unit 3/5, or "Darkhorse," which lost 25 people between 2010 and 2011 while fighting in Afghanistan. One of these Marines, Alec Catherwood, was from Byron, Illinois. It was Alec Catherwood's parents, Gretchen and Kirk, who started the Darkhorse Lodge as a way to honor their son. Myers said he had friends in common with the Catherwoods.
"There's been a lot of fundraising efforts over the last couple of years and that's where I really got involved in donating money to the construction of these units," Myers said.
Originally there was going to be five cabins at Darkhorse Lodge, Myers said. Now, there's going to be six guest cabins and a dining hall, which the paint True Value donates will go to.
The buildings for the retreat are up, and everything's drywalled, with electricity running, Myers said.
"This is one of the final steps to actually making this vision a reality," he said. "And as soon as that happens, this place is going to be fantastic."
Recently, the paint color was chosen: Moon Glow. True Value will provide primer and paint for the project.
Carrie Ward, manager of True Value's Paint Plus Store, said color has been proven to brighten people's moods and change their mindsets.
"You think it's just paint, but it's needed everywhere," Ward said. "If we can do this little bit, just by cleaning, freshening up, making it look good, then that saves them money, too, so they can afford to do other things for veterans (and) to give back different ways."
To learn more about Darkhorse Lodge, visit darkhorselodge.org/ or the organization's Facebook page.