Memorial Day 2011 is one holiday that the Pell Manor Tenant Association will not forget, as they not only honored American veterans and military personnel, but also held a ribbon-cutting for a new patio that residents will be able to use this summer.
Rep. Stephen Ucci (D-Cranston-Johnston) secured a legislative grant for the Johnston Housing Authority to purchase new outdoor decor and furniture for the patio.
Carol Anne Costa, Pell Manor's administrative assistant and property manager, explained that the association "did some brainstorming" on how best to use the outdoor space.
"This will enrich the association," Costa explained, pointing out the new gazebo, grill, chairs and umbrellas.
Costa added that the new outdoor space was a "team effort," as maintenance worker Steve Colwell and Pell Tenant Association members got together and did yard work, painted the benches and power-washed the concrete base for the patio.
Connie DeConti, a member of the tenant group, said she loved the new outdoor patio.
"It was a wise choice" to use the money to create an outdoor space for residents, DeConti said.
Ucci said he worked on the legislative grant for months, and secured the funds as part of his annual request for state money for Johnston. This grant was also personal for Ucci, as his grandmother lived at Pell Manor before passing away in 1981.
"I will always keep you informed on what is going on in the Rhode Island State House," Ucci told the tenants, "and I'm always ready to assist you."
JHA Executive Director David M. aRusso and tenant association members thanked Ucci for securing the grant, and aRusso said he "was glad to have (Ucci) on my support team."
Tenant association President Ralph Piccirrillo said he is now working with Johnston state Sen. Frank Lombardo to acquire a grant for Pell Manor's annual Christmas party.