Journeyman Lineman Billy Duch and five  co-workers from the Bethlehem area could have spent free time with their families, coaching a ballgame or enjoying a round of golf. Instead, they spent their off-hours one recent week helping to build a massive playground set in North Catasauqua borough, Northampton County.

The job had a personal meaning for Duch, who coordinated the volunteer project. “I live in North Catasauqua, and my children and other kids will be taking advantage of this playground,” he said. “It’s a great place for kids to come and play.”

The schedule was an aggressive one. The project started on June 5 and was completed on June 8.

“The weather wasn’t very cooperative — we lost a day due to heavy rain — but we wanted to get the playground equipment built in time for the town festival,” Duch said. “We volunteered from 3:30 to 9 p.m. each day. It isn’t an easy task, but we were confident we’d get it done.”

For Journeyman Electrician Rick Legath, the project was all about the kids and teamwork. “When Billy approached us with the idea of building the playground, we knew we were in,” he said. “If you get the right guys, like those on our team, it’s a lot of fun. We didn’t mind doing it on our own time.” Volunteers, in addition to Duch and Legath, included Mike Miller, Bill Sharkazy (pictured at right), Chris Bellis and Dave Busser.

“As a small borough, our park is the centerpiece of our community, and the project has been closely watched by many members of our community,” said Peter Paone, North Catasauqua borough council president. “PPL graciously allowed for the use of equipment to assist, and several of your employees volunteered their afternoons and evenings and helped to put together the new set last week, allowing this portion of the rehabilitation project to finally come to completion. Their dedication to the project was impressive, and their efforts will no doubt be enjoyed by countless children in our community for years to come.”

North Catasauqua Mayor William Molchany visited the site to show his support. “Having PPL do this for the community is a great idea,” he said. “I’m very grateful for these guys for volunteering their time. It’s wonderful opportunity for the borough.”

The sense of community and volunteering was top of mind for Sharkazy, equipment operator. “I always believe in giving back to the community, no matter what it is. I just feel that if other people see you volunteer then they may think to themselves that they, too, can help out. This helps build community. I like to feel we are all one.”