Tri-City Americans help build a Habitat for Humanity house

November 7, 2012 

While Mitch Topping, Zach Yuen and Justin Feser nailed up siding on the back of the house, Wil Tomchuk was helping finish the porch. They were four of 11 Tri-City Americans who put in four hours apiece Wednesday to help build a Habitat for Humanity house in Kennewick.

"I was the brains, Yuen measured and Feser was on the skill saw," Topping said. "I was out here last year and I've built decks with my dad. I love this kind of stuff."

Israel Camorlinga, the construction manager for the project, said this is the third year he has had Tri-City American players help build a house.

"They do an amazing job," said Camorlinga, who noted that Topping, Marcus Messier, Drydn Dow and Justin Hamonic were his crew leaders. "Some are quick learners. I just have to keep an eye on them. Without them, I'm not able to get as much done."

Messier, who said he had never done construction work before, was handy with the saw.

"Look at this," Messier said, surveying the scene. "We made a wall. Sounds like a dumb sentence, but wow."

The players were nailing up siding on the outside of the three bedroom, two-bath home that comes in just under 1,200 square feet.

Bill Porath, who volunteers three days a week on Habitat for Humanity projects, was working with Tomchuk on the porch. Porath has been a Tri-City Americans season ticket holder from Day 1.

"It's nice to have helpers," Porath said. "We can do a lot more."

Defenseman Michal Plutnar, was very diligent in his work, carefully measuring and nailing. His father is a carpenter in the Czech Republic and apparently taught his son the value of quality work.

Also working on the house were Malte Strömwall, Lukas Walter and Lucas Nickles.

I'm not so sure how much Mr. Nickles accomplished. When the guys broke for lunch, his hands were cleaner than mine.

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