Finding ways to serve
Ephraim company has employees helping in
community until they can come back to work
By Doug Lowe
EPHRAIM—It was a great day for Sam Taylor, operations manager of Lashbrook Designs in Ephraim, when he could call all five of his furloughed employees with the good news that they should return to work ASAP because the PPP loan, applied for by the head office in Draper, had arrived.
But, when Taylor saw orders for the company’s award-winning rings—custom-made engagements, weddings, and other occasions—drop nearly 70 percent, he wanted to find some way to keep the recently returned employees productive.
Meanwhile up in Draper, the company’s founder, Eric Laker, and his brother, Matthew had been grappling with the same problem and decided that all their under-utilized employees should be offered as volunteer to non-profit organizations and governmental units.
So, Taylor called the city of Ephraim and offered a crew of volunteers. Gratefully, Chad Perry, the city’s public works director, tasked the Lashbrook volunteers to sod the cemetery. When that project was completed, Tayor asked for another assignment, but when one wasn’t immediately forthcoming, he drove around town and identified task he and his staff could possibly do.
After receiving a “go ahead” from Perry, the Lashbrook team weeded and cleaned up the Ephraim sports complex and surrounding area; then, moved on to weed and clean Canyon View Park and its environs.
Next, Taylor contacted Cory Hatch, Manti’s public works director, who came up with more than half a dozen projects the volunteers could help with. Those included: weeding and cleaning up the garden/water feature on the corner of Main and Union; weeding and clearing out all the metal grates around Main Street’s many trees; weeding and cleaning up the Flagpole garden on the NE side of the cemetery; weeding and clearing along the entry to the SW side of the cemetery; and, weeding and cleaning up Pioneer Park.
It is likely, at least in Hatch’s opinion, that the greatest achievement of the Lashbrook Design crew was gathering up all the garbage left all around the town’s gun range. By the time they were finished, an entire dump truck has been filled with the trash they had collected.
Taylor has hopes that, work load permitting, he and his co-workers can eventually work their volunteer magic further north, in Spring City and Mt. Pleasant. But, that plan all depends on what the future brings in the coronavirus era.