Rotary Club installs barbecue at Shoup Park to honor local veterans

John Hammerschmidt/Special to the Town Crier
Rotary Club of Los Altos members celebrate the completion of their project constructing and installing a barbecue at Patriot’s Corner in Shoup Park. Volunteers included, from left, Steve Shepherd, John Bogart, Steve Pomeroy, Pat Farrell, Kathy Berry, Jack Kelly, Donna Verna, Paul Schutz, George Stafford and John Hammerschmidt. Not pictured: Sam Harding, Frank Elmer, Cynthia Luedtke, John McBirney, Chuck Lindauer, Gary Brown and Jack Heidmiller.

The Rotary Club of Los Altos recently built and installed a barbecue at Patriot’s Corner in Shoup Park, honoring local veterans and serving residents.

Rotarians Paul Schutz and licensed contractor John Hammerschmidt hatched the project in 2013 during the Rotary presidency of Jack Kelly. After nearly three years of consulting, permitting, purchasing and constructing, the barbecue is ready for use.

Pamela Palmer, daughter of the late Bill Palmer, a former Rotary Club of Los Altos member, remembers playing in Shoup Park as a child. Now a landscape architect and principal at Artecho in Venice, Calif., she designed the addition. Rotarians met with an arborist, a senior recreation supervisor and the director of Recreation & Community Services to secure approvals for the project.

Funds raised at the club’s annual Fine Art in the Park Show underwrote the project, and volunteers donated their labor. Over five Saturdays, 17 Rotary Club volunteers dug the footprint, poured the reinforced slab footing, erected sides and a top, set the stone siding and purchased and installed the grill and brass Rotary nameplate.

George Garcia of Garcia Tile in Santa Clara installed the tile countertop at no charge, and Rotarian Cynthia Luedtke applied CrossLink NanoCoatings for surface protection. The club’s volunteer construction crew included Schutz, Hammerschmidt, Luedtke, Pat Farrell, Sam Harding, John Bogart, Steve Shepherd, George Stafford, Frank Elmer, Jack Kelly, John McBirney, Chuck Lindauer, Gary Brown, Jack Heidmiller, Steve Pomeroy, Donna Verna and Kathy Berry.

Project organizer Schutz said he expected construction to take a year, but because of the “slow turning of official wheels – including Rotary wheels,” his team dedicated two-and-a-half years to the project.

Shepherd and Harding teamed up to dig the footprint into cementlike soil with a jackhammer.

“I was reminded why I went to college instead of into construction,” Stafford said. “That cement pour was tough.”

Berry said they finally resorted to a kindergarten solution when the mortared stones kept falling off – glue, which stuck well.

Retired contractor Pat Farrell remembers his frustration.

“My vocabulary changed to contractor talk as we put on the stain,” he said.

At the end of the project, Schutz treated volunteers to a picnic lunch, which was “the most fun after working together,” Pomeroy said.

The new barbecue is available for rent through the Recreation Department. For reservations, call 947-2790.

Marlene Cowan is a member of the Rotary Club of Los Altos. For more information, visit

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