Paul Albanelli calls himself an old mudslinger. But not the kind that comes to mind in a presidential election year. His mudslinging refers to a 40-year career as a concrete contractor. And in four decades, Paul has gotten to know a lot of people in the business, many of whom are slinging some mud for Life Remodeled in Denby.
Albanelli Cement Contractors Inc., run by Paul and his cousin, Wayne, first donated concrete to the Life Remodeled project in Cody in 2014. This year, the enormous amount of material needed for new basketball courts, a performance pavilion and other projects was too much for his company alone.
“I started calling around out of desperation and pretty soon, I had this consortium put together,” Paul said. “Barton Malow, Merlo Construction and Charles Sinelli & Sons are great friends of mine. The whole business and life in general is about relationships.”
Bottom line: Nearly 100 percent of the material and labor is being donated toward fulfilling the Skinner Park vision cast in 2013 by some Denby High students as their capstone project.
But there’s more. Expensive colored concrete envisioned for certain parts of the park is coming in 2017 because Paul reached out to the Decorative Concrete Council of the American Society of Concrete Contractors. “Next year, we’ll do a lot of cool stuff in the pavilion. The kids can help design the graphics.”
For all his volunteer effort going into Denby, Paul said another donation he made years ago stands out. “The greatest thing I ever did was be a bone marrow donor. That saved somebody’s life, so it was pretty cool.” The recipient, a woman in northern Germany, lived for nine years after the transplant. Paul never met her but after eight years of trying, he made email contact.
“To whom much is given, much is expected,” Paul said, crediting his strong Catholic faith for his inspiration. “It all goes back to your faith in God, and all the blessings I’ve received. It’s easy to pay back. I don’t always do it, but when you have a chance to help somebody else, why wouldn’t you?”