Muscanell Millworks was first introduced to the Gary Sinise Foundation’s Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment program several years ago at a National Wood Flooring Association expo where actor and philanthropist Sinise was a speaker.
For a company that maintains a community-centered focus, both the former owners, Doug and Karen Harbaugh, and current president, Bobby Comisky, were interested in the foundation’s work to support wounded veterans and first responders.
Although most RISE projects are in larger cities, it wasn’t until mid-2019 that the company had the opportunity to participate in a project. Muscanell’s sister company, Palo Duro Hardwoods, reached out to them to let them know about a local project for retired U.S. Air Force Technical Sgt. Matthew Slaydon.
Slaydon was injured when an improvised explosive device exploded 2 feet in front of him during his third deployment, in Baghdad in 2017. The blast resulted in the loss of his left dominant arm and left eye and caused other severe injuries including bilateral blindness without light perception. He was hospitalized for 16 months continues to recover.
Muscanell joined the project in July 2019, agreeing to donate 2,600 square feet of hickory flooring for the home. The flooring was milled at the Muscanell facility in Dolores and delivered by Palo Duro Hardwoods. The sanding and finishing were donated by Eugen Lägler and Benchmark Wood Floors.
Aside from projects like the Dolores Public Library, most of Muscanell’s products are shipped outside Southwest Colorado. Comisky said, “It was neat to see our flooring go into the Slaydon home because our flooring doesn’t usually go into local projects.”
While Muscanell Millworks staff didn’t get the chance to meet Slaydon and his wife, Annette, at the May 19 dedication in Bayfield because of COVID-19 restrictions, Comisky visited the completed house before the dedication.
“We really enjoyed being part of the project for the Slaydon family,” Comisky said. “It’s an honor to give back to wounded veterans who have been suffering, and to give back to the community as well.”
Comisky said the company would like to be involved in future projects if the opportunity arises.