Sarah Maxine Palmer has been a good neighbor. Since the Family and Community Education Center opened across the street from her home, students have parked in her driveway, and she has been a victim of the graffiti artists that target the FACE Center.
So when Linda Dudek, Adult Learning Outreach coordinator at the FACE Center, learned of 80 year old Palmer’s troubles, she decided it was time to be a good neighbor too.
“I met Sarah at a town hall meeting for the parking expansions we’re doing,” Dudek said.
The college has purchased nearby homes which are being removed to allow OCCC to expand its parking lot and reduce street parking in the neighborhood.
“I found out that some kids had spray painted graffiti on her garage door.
“And when I learned of all the hell she’d put up with for having us as neighbors, I thought it’d be nice to do something for her.” Dudek said.
And “do something” Dudek did.
On Oct. 14, a sunny Friday afternoon, Dudek, her husband Thomas Dudek, and fellow instructor and friend Anthony Tyrrell set out to repaint Palmer’s defaced garage door.
“Originally, I was just going to pay for the supplies out of pocket and do it on my own time,” Dudek said.
“But when I told some of my colleagues about it, my boss, Steve Bloomberg, told me the college wouldn’t mind at all paying for it,” Dudek said.
She said the supplies, including paint, rollers, drop cloths, and masking tape, were procured by J.B. Messer in Facilities Management.
Palmer said the first she heard of it was when Dudek said she’d find a way to help her.
“I feel nice that they would do that, and I really appreciate it,” Palmer said.
This kind of gesture is par for the course when it comes to Dudek, Tyrrell said.
“Linda’s very community minded, and she thought this would be a good way to give back to Sarah, and to the community in general,” Tyrrell said.
He said he was pleased to help out.
“It’s a chance for me to get to know the neighbors around me, around where I work.
“I think it’s appropriate for a community college to extend a gesture like this, and I’m proud to be able to help.”
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