— Faith-based sports ministry suffers massive damage as a result of a severe windstorm, and GC Pro and its AV integration affiliate Accutronics step up and stay with the organization through 15 grueling months of rebuilding, culminating in a joyful reopening in September —
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA — The winds came on the night of July 1, 2014, and what they left in their wake was devastating. Heroes Camp, a sports ministry in Mishawaka, Indiana, that for 26 years has provided guidance and activities for area youth with its three basketball courts, a kitchen, locker rooms, a recording studio, and even a barbershop, had its ceilings torn down and its floors flooded. Over the next 15 months, Heroes Camp battled back, culminating in a grand reopening on September 12. Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), the business-to-business (B2B) division of Guitar Center providing highly customized service for professional accounts, along with its Affiliates Program partner Accutronics LLC, was happy to be part of that miraculous comeback.
GC Pro sourced a wide variety of audio, video and lighting products and systems, including a QSC PA system, Da-Lite projection equipment, Shure and Sennheiser microphones, Atlona video products, Rapco cabling and Mid Atlantic racking. Many of these products were delivered through the Mishawaka Guitar Center store, which had long been a supplier for Heroes Camp’s MI needs, and they were installed and integrated by Accutronics.
Ryan Nigh, GC Pro Account Manager, remembers that he, Accutronics Owner Mike Love and Heroes Camp Executive Director Patrick “P.J.” Perri were just about finished with the paperwork for some upgrades to Heroes Camp’s existing systems along with some new products when the winds struck overnight. The next morning revealed the extent of the damage. What had been a relatively small upgrade project now turned into a recovery and rebuilding task, with substantial support from the community that Heroes Camp had been part of for a quarter of a century. “PJ had sent me a video of the damage and it was terrible,” Nigh recalls. “We all got together and determined what could be salvaged and what needed to be replaced. We were putting together a plan that would get them back to where they had been before the storm and then some, as cost-effectively as possible, because throughout the entire time they were also battling with insurance companies.” Nigh credits Toby Klingler, Manager of the Mishawaka Guitar Center store, for giving local store support, and logistics coordinator Jon Newby, for handling all of the special orders and shipping. “Everyone gave a hundred percent to get Heroes Camp back on its feet,” he says.
PJ Perri concurs, citing GC Pro’s experience dealing with insurance issues. “They understood the critical difference between contents and structure,” he explains; how, for instance, a speaker on the floor can be considered in the contents category but once it’s hung from a wall or a truss it becomes part of a building’s structure — a critical distinction to an insurance adjustor eyeing liability limits. “I was very impressed with the knowledge and insight they were able to bring about insurance matters. That was very helpful.” And Perri was also happy with GC Pro’s choice of integrator, noting how Accutronics’ Mike Love was able to make the facility’s recording studio look better than ever. “It looks as good as it sounds,” says Perri. “He hid the wiring very artfully and everyone who comes in comments on the sleekness of the studio. Everyone involved was just awesome.”
“I was happy to help,” says Ryan Nigh. “GC Pro has been around a long time and we’ve accumulated a lot of experience – not just in professional AV but in everything connected with it,” he says. “But it was especially gratifying to see Heroes Camp come back, and see how the community and companies like Nike, Foot Locker and even the Chicago Bulls come together to help, because this was all for a much greater cause. We were glad to be part of that.”
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