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IBEW Local 103 Electricians Help the BGCL Switch to LED Lights

October 30, 2020

It takes a community to light up the club! Dave O’Laughlin and Lou Antonellis from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 103 helped the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) achieve huge savings by converting the building to LED lights.

Dave O’Laughlin, IBEW Local 103 North Shore Business Agent, initiated the project to switch to the LEDs when he realized the significant impact it would have on the club. O’Laughlin coordinated a team of electricians and connected the BGCL to NorthEast Electrical, which offered a rebate program for the purchase of the LED lights and fixtures. Lou Antonellis, IBEW Local 103 Business Manager, was essential in approving the project.

Beginning July 24th, IBEW electricians volunteered their time to perform a one-to-one lighting replacement for the entire building. Over the period of five Saturdays, more than 35 electricians joined the project, including a few BGCL alumni who now work for the IBEW, to remove old fluorescent fixtures and install new LEDs.

In total, the IBEW Local 103 installed almost 600 LED lights and fixtures in all areas of the club, including the gymnasium, swimming pool, and classrooms. Prior to this project, the BGCL was using T8 fluorescent fixtures and bulbs. By switching to LED lights, the club will save over $25,000 each year on electricity expenses and lightbulb replacement costs.

The switch to LED lights would have been impossible without the help of O’Laughlin and his team, whose volunteer work saved the club upwards of $100,000 in labor expenses.

“I just see how many kids the club helps and provides them with amazing opportunities. They’re safe and getting a good message at the club. I’m just trying to be part of seeing those kids smile,” O’Laughlin says.

Dave’s wife, Maria O’Laughlin, was a youth member of the club over 35 years ago, which began his own involvement with the BGCL. He developed a relationship between the BGCL and the IBEW Local 103, which has led to a long history of charitable projects with the club. In 2017, the IBEW Local 103 organized a fundraiser that provided $7,000 for the BGCL. In 2019, the IBEW volunteered to remove old fans in the gymnasium and installed a new scoreboard over the pool that allows the club to host swim meets. The BGCL also extends its gratitude to Mike Harrington from All-Pro LLC, who helped purchase the timing equipment for the pool scoreboard and donated the use of lifts for the LED installation project.

The operation of the BGCL is truly an effort by and for members of the community. The Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence wishes to thank the electricians of the IBEW Local 103 for generously volunteering their time and resources to light the way for the next generation.

Did You Know?

The Beacon Club serves more than 300 children per year and provides a safe haven to children in the Beacon Projects in South Lawrence.