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Berkley, Ferndale

Berkley-Ferndale hockey team lends hand to Heidelberg Project

October 2, 2013

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Members of SOLO Detroit, from left, Marcellus Wilford, Andrew Desloover, Zack Silver and Jake Leider, joined the Berkley hockey team Sept. 21 to work at the Heidelberg Project. Wilford, Silver and Leider are all Berkley graduates.

BERKLEY — There were no skates or helmets required.

Gloves, however, were encouraged — along with a little elbow grease.

For the second straight year, guys on the Berkley-Ferndale Unified hockey team rolled up their sleeves and donated their time to the Heidelberg Project in Detroit.

A year ago, the guys volunteered at a Heidelberg Project fundraising dinner.

On Sept. 21, the Bears took time to work at the open-air art environment on Detroit’s East Side.

“What they did was great,” said Joanne Leider, a volunteer with the Heidelberg Project and mother of a couple of former Berkley hockey players. “The guys worked above and beyond what was expected of them.”

The Heidelberg Project, now in its 27th year, was started by Tyree Guyton as a way of beautifying a two-block area of run-down houses.

By painting houses and cleaning up, Guyton and the Project have turned his old neighborhood into a tourist destination.

“I remember hearing about the Project way back when, but to kind of get the perspective from Tyree and actually see what’s been done down there is pretty cool,” said Berkley coach Jeff Fleming, who joined his guys for the four hours of work. “To get down there, paint, do the yard work and clean up, was a great team effort.”

The team spent the day tearing down infrastructure, ripping out old flooring in one house, weeding overgrown gardens, and of course, slapping some paint on the wall.

“They essentially helped maintain and beautify this place,” Leider added.

Members of SOLO Detroit (Stand Out Live Original), a clothing company formed by Berkley and Huntington Woods residents, assisted in the work with the hockey team.

“It seemed like everyone was really into it,” Fleming said of the day. “The guys I spoke with about said they’d love to do it again.”

Fleming said he’s always believed in getting his guys out there for the benefit of others.

“This is something we’ve been doing for a few years now,” he explained. “And it’s something we want to continue. Whether it’s with the Heidelberg Project or any other group, we feel like it’s the right thing to do.”

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