Build Days

IRONMAN Athletes Volunteer for Fire Recovery One Day After Racing

 A crew of IRONMAN Foundation volunteers poses with their first finished deck!

A crew of IRONMAN Foundation volunteers poses with their first finished deck!


Sunday July 29, 70 Ironman Foundation volunteers converged at 180 Studios in Santa Rosa to build decks and “Welcome Home” signs for fire survivor cottages built by local fire recovery coalition Homes for Sonoma.

This day of action was part of IRONMAN Foundation's dedication to helping race communities recover from disasters. Along with an amazing volunteer force, IRONMAN Foundation provided $30,000 in grants to support the day’s efforts.

Final Event for Triathletes, Beginning of the Race for Homes for Sonoma

An hour before scheduled check-in, volunteers began to trickle into 180 Studios. IRONMAN Foundation Executive Director Sarah Hartman joked about athletic initiative while Rebuilding Together Staff mingled, sizing up our new rebuilders.

During welcoming speeches, Sarah asked who there had participated in the 70.3 mile triathlon the day before and who had run the 5K earlier that morning. Hands shot up throughout the crowd.

Volunteers were divided into teams, some creating “Welcome Home” signs and some building decks. Then they were off, sign makers and deck builders alike powering through the tasks at hand as if it were the final leg of their race.

Sign builders had efficiently produced their pieces by lunch and had to be folded into deck production.

Meanwhile, in a dramatic and unexpected setback, deck crews discovered that our fifteen year old drills were not up to the task of forcing screws into dense, composite decking. We reached out to our network and had 10 additional high-functioning drills by the end of lunch.

New tools in hand, IRONMAN Foundation volunteers doubled down and were able to make their way through all 20 platforms (that’s 10 decks!) by the end of the work day.

For volunteers and their families, this was the end of a long race weekend. For Homes for Sonoma and Rebuilding Together Petaluma, it represented a beginning. With houses arriving on our first site in early September, there are many workdays to come but Sunday was our first chance to put hands and sweat into recovery.

 Working hard to put screws in Trex decking.

Working hard to put screws in Trex decking.

 Young athlete taking care with her message.

Young athlete taking care with her message.

More Than Wood and Screws

Decks built Sunday will dramatically expand the footprint of their small cottages, adding an additional 144 sq ft to the layout of the homes. They will be spaces for neighbors to gather for barbecues, families to spend evenings, and individuals to find solace in a book and their favorite chair.

Signs in gardens, welcoming survivors to new homes, will say more than simple messages scrawled in paint. They’ll say that their community remembers and supports them.

Fire Recovery Efforts

Rebuilding Together Petaluma was able to organize the build under the operations of a $400,000 grant from Albertson’s Foundation.

After the fires of last October, we knew our experience with volunteer coordination uniquely qualified us to serve Sonoma County during rebuilding. The Albertson’s fund has allowed us to reach beyond our normal scope of work in Petaluma to support our broader community in recovery efforts.

We teamed up with Homes for Sonoma early on. They are a volunteer led-effort working to design and build neighborhoods of compact cottages for fire-affected families and individuals in desperate need of affordable housing.

Thank Yous

Diverse partners made this event possible!

Many thanks to…

  • IRONMAN Foundation for their $30,000 grant!
  • All of the incredible IRONMAN volunteers!
  • Ohana Construction Inc. for framing the decks!
  • 180 Studios for renting us space at a discount!
  • Healdsburg Lumber Co. for discounted lumber!
  • Fairweather Inc for moving decks into storage!
  • Project captains Lew Spengler and Lon Wiley!
  • And to Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, Hoka One One, and Clif Bars Inc for their sponsorship!

This has truly been a team event!

April 21st 2018 Declared Rebuilding Together Petaluma Day

At Monday's Petaluma City Council meeting, April 21st, 2018 was proclaimed to be Rebuilding Together Petaluma Day!

The official proclamation cites RTP's more than 20 year history of home repairs in the city, our demonstrated ability to complete an average of 60 projects a year, the support we give to other non-profits through facility repairs, our exceptional community engagement shown in our 600 person strong volunteer workforce, our consistent service to the city during our April and October work days, and our critical role in maintaining safe and affordable housing in Petaluma. Rebuilding Together Petaluma is honored and thrilled to be recognized for our ongoing work in support of our neighbors. 

RTP Proclamation.jpeg

April 21st, 2018 is also this year's April build day. On that day as well as April 19th and 20th, we will be mobilizing to repair homes and facilities at 10 locations throughout Petaluma. These efforts are supported and made possible by Wells Fargo, Ohana Construction, Save Energy Co, Sears Heroes at Home, Heffernan Insurance Brokers, Friedman's Home Improvement, the Hillblom Foundation, Nova Group Inc, Audio Visual Design Group, and roughly 200 community volunteers! We cannot think of a better way to celebrate. 

Join in on the celebrations with a donation, and help us continue to serve our neighbors!

April 2017: Butter, Eggs, and Builds

The last two weeks of April 2017 were a busy time at Rebuilding Together Petaluma. On April 22 we had our Spring build. With the help of 264 volunteers, we repaired eight homes and two non-profit facilities, including our own headquarters on Payran, plus sent a work crew to Shollenberger Park.

Because of the incredible efforts by caring businesses and local volunteers, a man who suffered a stroke now has access to a shower, a 90 year old World War II veteran has a new kitchen floor and grab bars in his bathroom, an 89 year old woman who is blind and living alone has a clean home and yard, a disabled homeowner now has accessible porches and a new bathroom floor, and a 90 year old woman has a new roof that will not leak and cause damage to her home. These and many more accomplishments were only made possible by our many volunteers and supporters.

Special thanks to house captains Dave Raffi, Adam Payne, Terry Kosewic, Lon Wiley, Jeremy Roach, Dick Hawn, Jody Raffi, Doug Sanders, Drake Cunningham, Uriel Medina, Jim Fitzgerald, Bob Scharfer, Kimo Garrigan, Mary Edith Moore, Dustin O’Brien, George Flynn, Bob Tuttle, Kimo Garrigan, Mike Watt, and Ken Rhoads. Also thank you to our business contributors and sponsors Ohana Construction, Roman’s Plumbing, Wells Fargo Bank, Wedge Roofing, Kiwanis Club of Petaluma, Audio Visual Design Group, ZFA Engineering, Tops Speed, O’Brien Painting, Doug Sanders Painting, Hillblom Foundation, Petaluma Refuse and Recycle and Sear’s Heroes at Home! We could not have done it without you.

But the April fun didn’t end with the workday! April 29th was the Petaluma Butter and Egg Days Parade and this year RTP decided to participate. We walked alongside board member Uriel Medina’s restored 1941 Chevy Pickup, decked out with RTP flags and filled with the hardest working kids in town. We handed out t-shirts and car safety kits to cheering Petalumans and were reminded of what a strong, vibrant, connected community we work in.

Parade photos taken by Tyler Chartier

Thank you again to all who make our work possible. We hope to see you again this October for our fall build. Registration open now! Until then, please feel free to swing by and visit us at our beautiful, newly renovated facility at 301 Payran Street!

October Build 2016

We did it! Our October 2016 build day came and went with great success thanks to house captains Bob Tuttle, Warren Theuret, Adam Payne, Dave Raffi, Bill Tallman, Pete Sand, Jim Fitzgerald, Ken Rhoads, Lon Wiley, Vince Malnati, and Lew Spengler, support from Lowe's and Home Depot, participation from local businesses like Ohana Construction, Roman’s Plumbing Kiwanis Club, Top Speed Data Communications, and Goldenstate Lumber and of course our 245 dedicated, hardworking, outrageously talented and deeply appreciated community volunteers. 

Shown above is a slide show of our incredible volunteers from our many October projects.

With your help, we were able to repair the homes of four deserving local seniors, fix up Petaluma COTS veteran housing, and help with community projects like the Petaluma Wetlands Alliance restoration efforts at Alman Marsh and Daily Acts' work on a student garden at McKinley Elementary School. 

  Volunteers hard at work in the home of a Petaluma Neighbor.

Volunteers hard at work in the home of a Petaluma Neighbor.

There was also a very special project this year, and that was the renovation of our very own future home at the Petaluma Fairgrounds. With help from our incredible volunteers, our new office is well on its way to being a space where we can welcome new clients and continue to serve our community. You will all be invited to the open house!

Everyone did incredible work and this year we weren't the only ones to notice! Stories from the build were featured in the Petaluma Spectator Blog,  Argus Courier, and even NBC Bay Area!

A big thank you to all who participated. We hope to see you all again on April 29th for our Spring Volunteer workday!