East Syracuse: Anaren sets up Bishop Grimes with painters-for-day

For 10 years, Bishop Grimes High School (BGHS) has been on the receiving end of a very generous program. Anaren Microwave Inc. -- an East Syracuse-based business and leader in microwave/RF-based technology -- scatters its employees each year throughout the Central New York area to lend its "hands" for a day of community service.

"It's grown over the last 10 years," said Phil Prugger, Anaren team leader at BGHS. "There's usually a lot of enthusiasm."

This year Anaren, which employs about 450 people, had close to 20 different teams assisting in community camaraderie. Prugger said a very small percentage of people opt out of the yearly mission although they can if they want to -- it's 100 percent voluntary.

"I mean, you can't beat it," he said. "You go to an assigned site for about a four hour block of time and then they [Anaren] have a nice picnic for us."

But since no one reports to work during this annual in-service day, an employee who chooses not to partake in the program does have to use a vacation day.

Early Friday morning 50 Anaren employees arrived at its neighboring high school located just minutes from the company on Kirkville Road. They divided into two groups of 25 to paint student lockers on the school's first and second levels. Completion time? Two hours.

Bill Connor, business development manager at BGHS, was thrilled with the group's efficiency, noting that the smell of the paint would be completely gone by Monday.

"Today we had 50 people at this site alone," Prugger said. "There was a lot of painting to do -- once you get going with that size of a team it goes pretty quickly."

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