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Aera Energy Gives $50,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Maria Valley for New Roof

Representatives of Aera Energy recently presented a $50,000 donation to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Maria Valley to help underwrite the cost of replacing the facility’s roof.
Representatives of Aera Energy recently presented a $50,000 donation to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Maria Valley to help underwrite the cost of replacing the facility’s roof. (Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Maria Valley photo)

With California's drought, everyone is usually glad when it rains. However, at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Maria Valley, rain brought anything but smiles.

The roof of the club at its Railroad site leaked badly in several locations, including in the administrative offices and newly renovated gym. Even the slightest of showers had people scrambling for buckets, covering up computers and protecting wooden desktops with plastic sheeting.

Thanks to help from Aera Energy LLC and Jake's Roofing of Porterville, the club has a new roof.

Here's how it came together: After examining the roof, it was determined that the 42-year-old roof could not be repaired and needed complete replacement. Roof replacement is expensive and it wasn't budgeted to be replaced in 2015. The longer the roof leaked, the worse it got. The first estimates came in at over $150,000 for a traditional roof replacement.

Luckily, Jake's Roofing of Porterville submitted a much lower estimate for a flat roof solution that uses a polyurethane foam to stop leaks and insulate the roof. Estimator Keith Smith worked with us to donate some of the labor, keeping costs lower than his competitors.

"We know that BGCSMV does a lot of great things for the kids of Santa Maria Valley," Smith said. "It was the right thing to do, so we donated some of the labor costs. We were glad we could help!"

There was just one little problem, BGCSMV needed to find a way to fund the the  roof replacement expense. Time was a critical factor. In June, the club would be open for full day summer programming and over 200 youth would be using the facility on a daily basis. Jeremy Deming, chief professional officer of BGCSMV, reached out to club supporter Aera Energy to ask for their help.

"Aera Energy has been a corporate sponsor of Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Maria Valley for several years," Deming said. "We are so grateful that they understood what a critical issue this was. Without their assistance, this project would not have been possible."

Susan Hersberger, public affairs project manager for Aera Energy, saw replacing the roof as a problem Aera Energy would be able to assist with.

"We at Aera Energy take pride in being an active and engaged member of the communities where we do business," Hersberger said. "Our ongoing support of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Maria Valley reflects our commitment to children and families in the local area."

On July 8, Aera Energy representatives Susan Hersberger, Kathy Miller and Cindy Pollard presented the club a donation of $50,000 to help underwrite the costs of the roof replacement. Work on the new roof was completed earlier this summer, just in time for the club's busy summer.

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