With a house frame as its creative float, Columbia Electric Supply Inc., Brockton, Mass., hit the proverbial nail on the head at the South Boston annual St. Patrick's Day parade, drawing a warm reception and cheers from the crowds during the March 16 procession.

“The parade, which draws thousands of people, was a great opportunity for us to show our presence in the South Boston community,” says Geoff Murphy, president of Columbia Electric, referring to the company's recent addition of a fourth location in South Boston. “It was also a chance to draw attention to ‘Homes for our Troops’ an organization committed to helping service men and women who have returned home with serious disabilities.”

Columbia Electric has strong ties to the Taunton, Mass., chapter of “Homes for our Troops.” The company donated all electrical materials for a new home constructed in Middleboro, Mass., for Sgt. Peter Damon, who was left a double amputee after being wounded in Iraq in 2004.

The electrical supply distributor also donated materials for a home built by “Homes for our Troops” for Brian Fontaine of Plymouth, Mass. Fontaine, who lost both of his lower legs as a result of a terrorist's explosive device while serving in Iraq, took a seat of honor on the Columbia Electric float for the parade.

“It was a privilege to have Brian join us,” Murphy says, noting that a number of soldiers back from tours of duty in Iraq were at the parade and gave the float a big thumbs up.

Fontaine was joined on the parade float by Mrs. Massachusetts - America, Erica Baker of Weymouth, and members of the Columbia Electric staff, including South Boston branch manager Bruce Holbrook.

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