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Home Depot, Massena Music Friends volunteers paint orchestra room

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MASSENA - Volunteers took time out of their schedules Friday to give a face lift to the Massena High School’s orchestra room.

Representatives from Home Depot and the Massena Music Friends spent the afternoon painting the walls of the orchestra room which Director Mario Pratti and his students moved into last year.

“Last year (high school Principal) Pat Farrand was trying to find a place for the orchestra. He was able to secure this room for us. It really makes a big difference,” Mr. Pratti said.

Prior to the move, he said, they had been in the band room, which had tiered floors that weren’t conducive to an orchestra. They had also used the chorus room and the stage depending on the time of year when they weren’t being used by other groups.

Mr. Pratti said he welcomed the move.

“I finally have a white board and access to a computer,” he said.

But the color scheme on the walls left something to be desired, and that’s where the Massena Music Friends and Home Depot representatives entered the picture.

Mr. Pratti said he and his wife had done some painting, but weren’t able to take care of the entire room. Beth Reyes, a member of Massena Music Friends, asked if he wanted volunteers to finish the job. And on Friday afternoon, they took care of it.

Massena Music Friends had its beginnings in October 2010 when a few interested parents met with Massena Central School officials about their idea after attending a budget hearing and listening to students implore school officials to save their program.

Their goal is to do things for the music program above and beyond what the district’s budget will allow. In this case, they decided they could help with the painting.

“We got Pat Farrand on board,” Mrs. Reyes said. “This is huge for (Mr. Pratti). He’s never had his own room.”

Home Depot provided not only employees who used their day off to paint, but also the paint itself and painting supplies.

Among the Home Depot volunteers was Stacey Riley from the store’s Paint Department.

“I haven’t had the opportunity to volunteer for a lot of work,” she said as she used a roller to put a fresh coat of paint on one of the walls.

Home Depot employees are more than happy to do it, Ms. Riley said.

“We want to be able to help the community no matter what the needs are. We have a lot of employees willing to volunteer,” she said.

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