Hurricane Katrina Clean Up

“A River of Hope” Relief Project: Our

Organization is Joined by Community Volunteers and United States Senator
Mark Dayton as We Return to New Orleans for a Third Time to Help with Hurricane Katrina Clean Up”

Image3Orion Associates, Meridian Services Zenith Services employees returned to New Orleans over the weekend of March 24th through 28th to assist with the clean up and rebuilding efforts in the Ninth Ward and St. Bernard’s Parish. This time, we were joined by volunteer contractors, plumbers, roofers and electricians, as well as by United States Senator Mark Dayton.

This was the organization’s third trip to the region. Before we left, we raised enough money and donated supplies to fill a semi-truck with sheet rock, tools, and other building supplies and materials and met the truck on Saturday in New Orleans.
Image9This trip was different than our previous two because of the presence of the building professionals who volunteered there expertise to help rebuild people’s homes. These volunteers replaced the roof on one home. They re-wired two other homes and restored the electricity to one. They also installed new bathroom fixtures and prepared the home for sheet rocking. Reconstruction
on the New Salem Baptist church is almost complete. Electricity was restored and, in a beautifully symbolic moment during the weekend, the steeple was illuminated for the first time since the hurricane.

This trip was also different because we were joined by United States Senator Mark Dayton. Rebecca Thomley, our Chief Executive Officer, had met with Senator Dayton on a recent trip to Washington, D.C. Senator Dayton was impressed with our organization’s “grass roots” efforts to help others and offered to join us on this trip. Senator Dayton worked alongside our employees and volunteers. We are very grateful for his interest, support and “hands on” efforts.
Image8While we were there, our employees and other volunteers gutted several homes
so that additional clean up and repair work could begin. We added supplies
to the community resource center that we started the first time we were there,
which makes supplies available to the neighborhood and other volunteers. We
also gave supplies to the people of St. Bernard’s parish, where there are residents who have returned, but are without essential building supplies and cleaning equipment.
Image6Reflecting upon our experiences in New Orleans, we see that there is not enough media coverage communicating how poor the conditions are there and how little is being done to help the poorest people and the elderly. While we have accomplished much during our three trips, much more needs to be done.

We remain very grateful for the opportunity we have had to help and plan to continue to work with Minnesota contractors, plumbers, electrician and roofers to support the people of New Orleans. We want to thank you for supporting and contributing to this cause, realizing that many of you have already given so much. It was with your help that we able to accomplish such a major undertaking.

We are planning to send another group of employees and volunteers to New Orleans for a fourth time in June. We continue to seek cash donations are needed to purchase supplies and materials for this effort. They can be made payable to the Zenith Services, Incorporated Disaster Relief Fund, and all donors will receive a charitable tax deduction receipt in the mail.

In order to donate, please contact Jill Cihlar, 1-877-656-7466 ext 1101, or at 612-239-6928 or e-mail her at .

All tax deductible donations should be made to the:

Zenith Services, Incorporated Disaster Relief Fund
44 North 28th Avenue, Suite A
St. Cloud, Minnesota 56303

“River of Hope” Project Participants

Jeffrey Chase, Alicia Corbett, Chad Danielson, Senator Mark
Dayton, Alec Demgen, Steve Dorf, Alyssa Dotson, Jeff Greishar, Laurel Greishar,
Marya Hage, Paula Hanninen, Greg Hinrichs, Kathleen Holz, Aaron Featherston,
Sid Featherstone, Trent Johnson, Pastor Warren Jones, Jennifer Jackson, Heidi
Kraus, Laura Kurtz, Steve Kurtz, Steven Lee, Wayne Meyer, Joe Molnor, Rosalee
Molnar, Sam Nero, Shirley Nero, Sarah Olsen, Brenda Reishus, John Richardson,
Sue Richardson, Jenny Schraut, Alexander Thomley, Luke Thomley, Nicholas Thomley,
Rebecca Thomley, Toni Thulen, Jen Van Rooy, Cheryl Vennerstrom

“River of Hope” Project Sponsors

The following agencies and businesses have generously contributed
to our “River of Hope” project, and many have done so several times.
In addition, hundreds of individuals have given to our efforts as well. We
would like to express our gratitude and deep appreciation to everyone whose
donations have made our work in New Orleans possible. Thank you!

ABetter Inspection – Blaine

Abrams & Smith – Minneapolis

Ace Hardware – Long Prairie

Afton Alps – Hastings

Alan Michael Design – Edina

Alpine Capital LLC – New Brighton

Anchor Bank – Wayzata

Anderson Engineering

Apperts Food

Artistic Stone, Incorporated – Avon

Berg Bag Company

Bethel University (Social Work Group)

Bird Island United Methodist Church

Bonanza Restaurant

Buca De Beppo – Osseo

Camille’s Sidewalk Café

City of Bird Island

Copeland Buhl Company

Crystal Kuemper and Quilters

Curves – Crystal

Daisy a Day Floral and Gift – Sartell

Dan Leitner Consulting – Blaine

Davanni’s Pizza – Waite Park

Day Distributing Company – Maple Plain

El Loro Mexican Restaurant – Crystal

Equinox Creative Production

Five Star Heating & Air

Four Seasons Chiropractic – Plymouth

Fun Factory Day Care

Furniture Clearance Center

Geriton Medical Supply

Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company

Grand Rios – Brooklyn Park



Hollywood Video – Blaine

Hunstiger Hillcrest Farms

Indoff – Sauk Rapids

Industrial Metals, Incorporated

Italian Pie Shop – Minneapolis


Lily Pad Ceramics

Long Prairie Food Center

Long Prairie Lumber Yard

Long Prairie Packing Company

M & I Bank

Maggiano’s Little Italy – Bloomington

Majors Sports Café

Mankato Truck Repair

Marco Business Products

Mark VII Distributing – Saint Paul

Minneapolis Floral – Minneapolis

Minnesota Public Radio

Nordic Ware

Northern PCS Services

Oakridge Elementary

Office Depot

Old Spaghetti Factory – Minneapolis

Olive Garden – Brooklyn Center

Papa Murphys – Crystal

Petersen Motorworks, Incorporated

Piazza’s Italian Ristorante

Po-Knee Toys – Wayzata

Professional Looks Etc. Salon

Promotion Resource Alliance

Richfield Flowers & Events – Richfield

Robin Lee’s Hallmark – Crystal

Roly Poly Sandwiches – Crystal

Sacred Heart Elementary

Salon La Terre – Minneapolis

Sam’s Club – Saint Cloud

Sherwin Williams

Spalon Montage

Spectrum Transportation – Maple Grove

Stems and Vines

Sweet Taste of Italy – Crystal

The Red Rose – Minneapolis

Theisen Building Supplies – Kimball

Time Out Sports Bar

Todaze Hair

Trillium Services – Duluth

Twin City Tile & Marble Company – Saint Paul


Voyager School


Warner Manufacturing Company – Minneapolis

Western Bank – Mounds View

Yellowstone Quilt