Make-A-Wish of Eastern Tennessee

Share it with friends

Assembling Is Our Superpower and We Like To Use It For Good

By Mich Michaud

It’s not everyday Assemblers, Inc. is asked to use its superpower to put together a magical playset for a Make-A-Wish recipient,

but, “When the non-profit called to see if we would help, we put our capes on and jumped right in,” said CEO and President Mike Giaccone, Assemblers, Inc.

“We have a sweet little girl living on Fredonia Mountain, TN, who has endured 30 chemo treatments for brain cancer,” said Christina Sayer, Make-A-Wish of Southeastern Tennessee. “Thankfully, she’s on the other side of those treatments and is cancer free!”

McKenlie Carr, Make-A-Wish recipient

To celebrate this incredible milestone in her young life, Make-A-Wish granted McKenlie Carr a special request – an enchanting play set complete with swings, slide, turret, and spyglass! They asked Assemblers, Inc. to be a partner for this special project.

“It’s not an easy swing set to build,” said Nick Fitzgerald, area manager for Assemblers, Inc. “The directions say it takes two people 20 hours to build it and based on what I see, I believe it!”

Nick Fitzgerald, area manager Assemblers, Inc.

But Nick said he was up for the challenge. He enlisted the help of another area manager named Bobby Montgomery out of Knoxville, TN, to be his build partner. Both men are parents and jumped at the chance to help a child experience joy after so much trauma.

“Oh, yeah, I’m a dad and a grand dad, so when Nick called to see if I was interested in helping, I didn’t hesitate to say yes,” said Bobby.

Nick and Bobby Montgomery look for plumb.

With sheer anticipation, McKenlie and her older brother Jesse patiently watched from a distance through the hand rales of their front porch as the two men methodically unpacked hundreds of boards, thousands of screws, and several special parts.

Three hours later, after accounting for every piece, they began the arduous process of building the large structure. Ten hours later, and in pitch dark, the structure was only half built.

Scattered showers were common during this build.

“We do this for a living, so we thought we’d be done by end of day, today, but that’s simply not going to happen. We’ll be back tomorrow to finish the job,” said Nick. Both men drove two hours back home, only to make another go of it the next day.

The morning brought thunder and dark rain clouds with curtains of intermittent rain showers, but Bobby and Nick were not deterred and stayed focused while working diligently to finish the task at hand even though they were soaking wet.

“It’s hot and sticky and it’s raining frequently, today, but we’re pushing through to make this happen for this sweet young family,” said Nick.

By end of the second day, Bobby and Nick drove the final screw into the structure completing the build in just under 18 hours. “We can’t wait to see this little girl play on this swing set!” said Bobby.

Nick drives one of thousands of screws.

“This is the best day of my life!!” said McKenlie as she ran toward the playset with her brother in toe. Together they climbed the ladder to the top of the turret, looked through the spy glass and screamed with joy.

McKenlie’s mother, Shelia said, “These guys were so sweet to my daughter and son. The children wanted to ‘help’ and Nick and Bobby didn’t even bat an eye or get upset as the kids were under foot.”

Both children hugged the men when they returned.

“That’s how we roll!” said Bobby. “We love kids and know they are curious. Of course we were secretly making sure they were safe the whole time.”

“I want to be an assembler one day, just like Bobby,” said Jesse. “I want to use power tools and put screws into boards and build things.”

Bobby presented both kids with an Assemblers, Inc. hat that they eagerly put on as they ran back to the playset to continue exploring, dreaming, and making believe.

Jesse and McKenlie Carr

Meanwhile, Nick and Bobby packed up their tools, drill bits and superpower capes and headed off into the sunset ready to make someone else’s dreams come true another day.

Presentation day

Want to see more about McKenlie and her brother Jesse? Go HERE to see video of the playset and hear interviews with Nick about the build on WDEF News12 Now, Chattanooga, TN.

For more information about how your charity can get help with your project from Assemblers, Inc., contact [email protected]