Sherwin-Williams staffers paint computer room for kids

2014-04-08T16:30:00Z 2014-04-09T06:38:05Z Sherwin-Williams staffers paint computer room for kidsBy CHRIS CIOFFI The Billings Gazette

A computer lab at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County will be getting a bit friendlier.

Friendly yellow, to be exact.

The satin shade was donated by Sherwin-Williams and will coat the walls of the Mary Alice Fortin Media Center in the Bair Family Clubhouse.

It’s all part of National Painting Week, an event that gets employees of all 4,000 nationwide stores out from behind the counter and into the community. The Billings store has participated in the program since it began.

“I like pitching in and helping the community,” said Buddy Keehn, a Sherwin-Williams employee in Billings who has participated in charity painting projects since he was hired two years ago.

Several employees from the Billings store have kept busy since Monday scraping old paint, patching holes and dents, priming and finally putting up that much mellower shade of yellow.

Helping fix up the room, which used to be painted a shade that may be more often seen on caution tape, hit close to home.

“I had nieces and nephews who used to come here,” he said.

Once the painting is finished, the room will be pressed back into service as a computer lab with 21 new computers.

“They’re all going to be set up the same and they’re all going to have the same software,” said Brian Dennis, chief professional officer of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County.

Before the remodel, no two or three of the outdated computers were the same, which made servicing difficult.

The computers will be used not only for games and relaxing, but the 200 to 250 youths that visit the center each day will also be able to do their homework. Instructors will also utilize the lab for structured activities.

“We’re going to incorporate technology into every area,” he said. “They need to be able to function and survive online.”

The new paint should also stand up to the potential wear and tear that could be caused by hundreds of children.

“We’ve chosen our most washable and most durable paint,” he said. “If someone spills grape juice or writes on it with a crayon or marker, it will wipe right off.”

The milder tone will promote a positive, focused learning environment, said Rob Walla the general manager for the Sherwin-Williams store in Billings.

The event gives employees a chance to get out into the community when they’re usually in the store selling paint.

“These are just all employees who usually work behind the counter,” he said. “It connects you with the good things your product can do.”

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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