Helpers - Barrett NYC Gives Back

Each year for their kick-off meeting, the Barrett Paving NYC Region chooses a not-for-profit charity that to contribute to throughout the season.

For 2018, they chose Clear Path for Veterans.  They contacted the charity and a representative actually attended the kick-off meeting for a presentation of what their organization does for the community and how Barrett could help.

The Clear Path facility offers a convenient and centralized destination that’s just 13 miles southeast of Syracuse. It sits upon 75 rural acres in the heart of Upstate New York’s farm country and on a clear day boasts impressive sweeping views of six counties, two lakes, and the base of the Adirondack Mountains.

The existing building was originally built in 1959 as a family recreation center and was known as a place “with a view, a pool and a golf course.” Melissa and Melinda Spicer purchased the property at a time when it had fallen into disrepair, fully recognizing its special qualities and significance within the community. Private funding enabled the restoration of the building to an enhanced rustic natural design. The facility now provides a tranquil setting that facilitates a connection to the beautiful natural surroundings of the overlook; a fitting dedication to those who serve.

Clear Path believes the best way to serve our military members and their families is through collaboration and partnerships. Their belief is that healthy Veterans transform communities and they identify partners that feel the same. Working with the local Veterans Association (VA) is critical to achieving that goal and Clear Path continues to do that. Their diversity in programs and services works well for organizations that target specific issues such as homelessness, education, and employment.

An example of this is their partnership with Soldier On an organization that addresses homelessness. Working in collaboration with Soldier On, Clear Path helps equip Veterans with tools that lead to success. Using peer support, community resources and Clear Path programs, barriers to integration are reduced. Support goes far beyond housing, employment, and education. Clear Path focuses on the life cycle of a warrior, and they provide a multitude of opportunities for Veterans to realize full citizenship by giving back in a capacity that is comfortable for them.

Another of the many services offered is Harley’s Heroes. Since the earliest days of human existence, dogs have provided a level of companionship unique to anything else. The Harley’s Heroes Program aims to help Veterans establish a foundation of communication with their currently owned dog, matched dog from a partnering shelter, or selected from our puppy development program. Once this communication is established, Veterans will begin to connect with their dogs on a mutually beneficial level, developing the ability to train new behaviors and synchronize in a unique partnership. While in this program, Veterans will learn the value of force-free training techniques that will enhance and build upon the unconditional bond that their canine companion has to offer. There have been great stories from Veterans about this life-changing program.

One of the events that were mentioned at the kick-off meeting was the Canteen Lunch, served every Wednesday from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. One day at our leadership meeting it was brought up that Veterans Day is nearing and was there something we could do in the community?  In the past, we had gone to the VA Hospital in Syracuse to serve lunch. Since Clear Path was our chosen organization, it was suggested that we serve our Veterans at the canteen lunch and thank them for their service.

We reached out to Barrett staff and Veteran employees for volunteers. We scheduled our event for the first Wednesday after Veterans Day.  Those that joined us were Sylvain Gross, Mark Hartnagle, Scot Owens, Fred Meyers, Wayne Casler, Heather Schmidtka, Bill Lallier, Tuesday Hamoy, and Jessica Dye.

It was truly an amazing experience, as hundreds of our veterans came to lunch.  We were proud to serve them, humbled to break bread with them and awed by their stories. Giving back in this way is a very small thing to do but large in rewards. We will make it an annual tradition.

To see all the wonderful things that Clear Path does and for more information go to