Tag Archives: American Fallen Soldiers

Bomanite Decorative Concrete Contractors Give Back to the Community

Bomanite Cares across the U.S.A., Bomanite licensed decorative concrete contractors make a difference in their communities

Humanitarian, hero, and three-time heavyweight champion of the world, Mohammed Ali once said, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” Revered for his accomplishments in the ring and beloved the world over for his sharp wit and big heart outside of it, Ali’s legacy is that of The People’s Champion. David Edwards also enjoys a challenge and relishes the chance to give back. As the co-owner of Edwards Concrete Bomanite in Winter Garden, Florida, Edwards has been in the concrete business for more than 40 years. His firm specializes in decorative concrete applications and between the heat and humidity and Florida’s frequently difficult soil conditions, every job his firm does seems to have a few challenges.

“We do stamped concrete, exposed aggregate, polished, colored, and stained concrete,” says Edwards, who has been a Bomanite licensed contractor since 1989. His team of approximately 25 has been devising decorative concrete solutions across central Florida for four decades in service to theme parks, commercial contractors, and public institutions of all sorts and scales. “We don’t shy away from difficult jobs, and while I wear a lot of hats, I enjoy getting into the design side of the work quite a bit.”

When the COVID-19 shattered the world’s sense of normality in early 2020, Edwards was inspired to make a meaningful contribution to his community and quickly harnessed his team’s talents to put a little happiness in the lives of others. “My wife and I grew up in Ocoee, Florida and have lived here our whole lives,” says Edwards. “When the pandemic hit, we wanted to do something for the local health care workers who were putting their lives on the line for people in this community.” Edwards first approached Mayor Rusty Johnson about a charitable giving project he had in mind for the Orlando Health – Central Hospital in Ocoee, Fl. Once the seed was planted, Edwards and his team quickly conceived of a way to enliven the building’s entrance with a decorative token of esteem. In a group effort, Edwards secured material donations from his long-time local suppliers of ready-mix concrete, lumber, and metalwork to assemble the resources required.

The result is a beautiful patio garden next to the building’s staff entrance where health care workers can catch a moment of reprieve from the rigors within. A bold blue heart of Bomanite Exposed Aggregate Concrete in a glass finish is surrounded by blocks of Portland cement seeded with mother of pearl flakes and white chip granite. Strips of artificial turf segment the concrete sections to make the whole patio a refreshing pop of vibrant color that offers a warm welcome and a calm, quiet respite to the hospital’s healthcare workers. “We absolutely appreciate the healthcare workers on the front lines of this pandemic,” says Edwards with genuine satisfaction. “This resting area was meant to help them replenish themselves amid the stress and challenges of their jobs. We were fortunate to be considered an essential service in the early stages of the pandemic and wanted to show our support for the healthcare workers and our community.”

Tyler Balch is a second-generation owner of Texas Bomanite in Dallas. “Since the firm was founded in 1987, one of our core beliefs has been giving back to the community we serve,” says Balch of the firm’s operational foundation. Texas Bomanite employs close to 100 people and completes commercial architectural concrete projects across most of Texas from offices in Dallas and Austin. When the firm was approached about a small but significant polished concrete project for The American Fallen Soldiers Project in Addison, Texas, Balch knew immediately that their cause was worthy of charitable consideration.

A 501c3 non-profit organization, The American Fallen Soldiers Project honors and memorializes American military service members who made the ultimate sacrifice with an original, hand-painted portrait of the fallen that is presented to their family. The brainchild of artist Phil Taylor, each portrait is undertaken to provide Gold Star Families with a small token of comfort and compassion in their time of loss. When the organization leased a new office and gallery space in a suburban office park and inquired about a polished concrete floor, Texas Bomanite decided to do it at a discount. “They wanted a polished concrete floor with a black orchid dye to give the space a very high-end, museum-quality feel,” shares Balch of the scope of work. “Because of the condition of the existing concrete slab, the work involved a lot of patching and grinding to prep the floor to be polished. We felt this was a cause we would be proud to get behind, so we donated time and materials equal to about 28 percent of the total cost. With Bomanite you are getting the best of the best, so making this an affordable option for a very worthy recipient made everyone involved feel fantastic.”

In Aurora, Colorado Bomanite licensed contractor, Colorado Hardscapes, supported a feel-good project of a different sort. Founded in 1947, Colorado Hardscapes has been Front Range Colorado’s premier decorative concrete contractors since the industry’s inception. When they learned of a local effort by the Make-A-Wish Foundation to build a sensory garden and playground for a local 7-year-old boy, Colorado Hardscapes jumped on board.
“The City of Aurora teamed up with the Make a Wish Foundation and a whole host of others to develop a fully-accessible playground with a sensory focus at Red-Tailed Hawk Park near the child’s home. We knew right away this was something we wanted to be a part of,” says Project Manager, Christy Bol. The child’s wish of wishes was simply to go to the park to play and laugh with other children and making that dream come true was a joy and honor for all involved.

The 8,000 SF site features a sensory wall composed of a tactile composition of shapes, textures, and colors, a wavy walk that undulates like a roller coaster, and swings, spinners, and slides of several sorts. A Bomanite Topping Systems – Micro-Top XT was used to make the sensory wall pop with color, while a Bomanite imprint texture mat added a high-touch surface to the rising wall. Bomanite Con-Color was also used to stain the concrete to add swooshes of whimsical flair to flatwork surfaces.“We donated the materials and labor to do  the wavy walk and stained concrete design throughout the park and did the vibrant, textured seat wall at cost,” says Bol. “We were also able to secure a donation from our concrete supplier, Aggregate Industries, for all of the concrete we installed.” Beyond the giving back, Bol shares that the project called upon Colorado Hardscapes’ artistic capacities. “There was only a sketch to start with, so our team got to be creative in conceptualizing the parts and pieces of this one-of-a-kind sensory wall.”

From functional to fantastic, these projects explore the many interesting and innovative possibilities in the world of decorative concrete while illuminating a common bond between Bomanite’s nation-wide network of licensed contractors. “From our perspective, we feel like we have been blessed to be a part of this great community-enhancing project,” finishes Bol. “Charitable giving is a great way to give back and show our commitment to the people and places our projects serve in a long-lasting, meaningful way.”

Written By Sean O’Keefe

American Fallen Soldiers Project Keeps on Giving with Bomanite Custom Polished Concrete

In 2016, The American Fallen Soldiers Project National Gallery opened its doors with 5,000 square feet of gallery and office space.  The project was borne of an idea that professional artist, Phil Taylor, had upon learning that his childhood friend, Capt. Blake Russell, had been killed in Iraq in 2006. Inspired by stories of Blake’s patriotism and courage during the funeral, Phil knew that he wanted to contribute to the Russell family’s healing process, so he painted a portrait of his childhood friend for them.

American Fallen Soldiers Gallery Gives Back to the Community with Texas Bomanite Concrete Dye Patene Teres Polished Concrete Floors

The family’s reaction to the portrait changed Phil’s life forever and he began the American Fallen Soldiers Project. Since its inception in 2007, over 220 portraits have been painted and presented as a gift to Gold Star families of fallen soldiers all over the country at no cost to the families. 

American Fallen Soldiers Gallery Gives Back to the Community with Texas Bomanite Concrete Dye Patene Teres Polished Concrete Floors

To keep the gallery costs down for this very special project, Bomanite Licensee, Texas Bomanite discounted the retail price as a donation towards the project’s success and was honored to be part of this special space. The decorative concrete floors consisted of 3,040 square feet of Bomanite Concrete Dye in Black Orchid using the Bomanite Patène Teres system polished to a 400 grit. The Polyurea Joint Filler was in the color Gauntlet Grey. The strength and durability of the polished concrete floors is a perfect, permanent, custom finish for the gallery.  

American Fallen Soldiers Gallery Gives Back to the Community with Texas Bomanite Concrete Dye Patene Teres Polished Concrete Floors

The beautiful elegant American Soldiers Fallen Project is a place of peace and solace through art and displays in a setting of inspiration and healing.  An especially poignant display  is an American flag with the stripes covered by photos of the fallen.  In his portraiture work, Phil Taylor takes special care in not only capturing the features but the actual essence of the fallen soldier he is painting.  It is not just a typical portrait painting, but more the life and energy, the appearance and the personality, of the person represented on canvas.  By telling the stories of those who have served and made the ultimate sacrifice, the gallery strives to change the lives of generations to come.  It truly is a Portrait Gallery Like No Other.

Vizient Honors Fallen Soldier Dane Balcon through American Fallen Soldiers Project (2018)

Vizient, in collaboration with American Fallen Soldiers Project, are honored to commemorate Army Specialist Dave Balcon who died while conducting combat operations in Iraq. To honor Balcon, Vizient presented his family with a portrait of Dane painted by artist, Phil Taylor, founder of the American Fallen Soldiers Project. We thank Dane for his service to our country as he dedicated his life to protecting the freedoms we all enjoy. To learn more about this year’s award visit newsroom.vizientinc.com or americanfallensoldiers.com.