A local community gives back in memory of one volunteer - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

A local community gives back in memory of one volunteer

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A local community is giving back, in memory of one man they say put everyone else's needs above his own.

Dozens of volunteers gave of hours of their time, building a pavilion and Sunday Night Hopewell Church of God and members of the community dedicated it and left it with a mark.

"Mike was the kind of guy who always had a smile on his face," said Stan Martz, Peyton Employee.

Mike Long, an active church member and Peyton employee passed away un-expectantly in March of 2013.

Friends and family say he was a true volunteer.

"He was the perfect example to my family, children and church," said Deloris Long, Mike's Wife.

"He was the kind of guy he never asked how long something would take or how much it would cost, he was a true team player," said Jerry Millwood, Pastor of Hopewell Church of God.

Pastor Millwood tells Channel 3 it was that attitude that made the church and the community want to give back to mike.

"We wanted to continue the legacy, there's modeling and mentoring in this life and we don't do enough of that," said Millwood.

Dozens of volunteers from Hopewell COG and the Cleveland community, like Ron Vail, banded together to build a community pavilion in mike's memory.
"I generally came out 2 to 3 times a week after working generally an 8 hour plus day and then I'd come and work on Saturday's too," said Vail.

"There would be some that would come out here for 12 hours a day or 6, 7, 8 hours a day for 6 weeks," said Millwood.

However, the labor wasn't the only thing given for the 3,500 square foot pavilion.

"Everything was donated. The building was donated, all of the furnishings, the tables," said Long.

A true act of giving by the Church and the Community, in memory of one man who constantly gave to anyone he could.

"He always did the things no one else wanted to do without being asked," said Martz.

Pastor Millwood tells Channel 3 the Mike Long pavilion is equipped with a full kitchen, but he says they were very careful in their spending of the donated funds. He says they were able to build the pavilion at $13 a square foot.

While the pavilion is on Hopewell COG's property, Millwood says it is available for community use.

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