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North American Deck and Railing Association
P.O. Box 829
Quakertown, PA 18951
Phone: 215.679.4884 - Fax: 888.623.7248
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Michael Beaudry
Executive Vice President
888.NADRA.4U or 888.623.7248


Sergeant Renee Thomas of Owasso, Okla. to Enjoy a Custom Deck Courtesy of NADRA

Quakertown, Pa. July 25, 2007 – North American Deck and Railing Association announced today the recipient of its 2007 Merit Award. National Guard Sergeant Renee Thomas of Owasso, Oklahoma is to be the proud owner of a new, custom deck designed and built by NADRA members and constructed of donated materials.

This year’s project under the Merit Award Program is entitled “Deck for a Soldier”. This community effort is an expression of appreciation for the service and dedication of the men and women of our armed forces.

Sergeant Thomas, a Logistical Specialist returned from her second tour of duty in Iraq on July 15, 2007. Early this year, Sergeant Thomas placed an inquiry to Sawdust, Ltd. of Broken Arrow, Okla., through, in anticipation of scheduling a deck build when she returned home. Rick Vaughan of Sawdust Ltd. took that lead and found donations from various manufacturers to build a deck at no cost to the soldier.

Sergeant Thomas arranged to meet Rick Vaughan at her home the evening of July 23rd to go over her deck plans. While there, Vaughan placed a phone call to NADRA board president, John Mortimer of Sweetwater, Tenn. and handed the receiver to Sergeant Thomas. “It was with great pleasure and pride that I was able to inform directly by phone to Sergeant Renee Thomas that she is the first recipient of NADRA’s ‘Deck for a Soldier’.” Says Mortimer.

In a phone interview, Sergeant Thomas expressed that she is excited and grateful to NADRA, Vaughan, and the companies donating materials and time for her new deck. Sergeant Thomas has been overwhelmed by the welcome home she has received from her community. She has had surprise visits from neighbors, and is looking forward to getting to know them better when she can entertain them on her new deck. “This is the first time someone has ever done something like this for me. This is truly a blessing. I believe that if you give, God will bless you, and he surely does.” Thomas said.

Sergeant Thomas is happy to be home with her family, friends and her dog, Sophie, but says she misses her friends who are still in Iraq, as well as, what she refers to as ‘the simple life’ - “You go to work, you go home, and you go to the gym. I’m very simple when it comes to stuff.” About the deck design, she is very excited about it and the added features of a fire pit and a bubbler fountain. She says “I think its going to be neat.”

Raised in Manford, Okla., Sergeant Thomas is the oldest of three siblings. She started in the Army in 1996 at Fort Sill, Okla., remaining active for three years. Then in 1999 she joined the National Guard, where she has worked in logistics. Sergeant Thomas is currently accepted into Phase 1 of the application process for becoming a Warrant Officer, and anticipates receiving orders to go into the 2nd and 3rd Phases of the program in September of this year.

About NADRA The North American Deck & Railing Association is the first national industry association dedicated to promoting outdoor living at its best, in safe and creative environments for the enjoyment of every homeowner. Headquartered in Quakertown, Penn., NADRA serves as a unified source for the professional development, promotion, growth, and sustenance of the Deck and Railing building industry in North America so that members can exceed the expectations of their customers. The association offers educational resources for both industry professionals and consumers, and is continually developing new programs and initiatives to further serve these audiences. Learn more about NADRA at or call 888.NADRA.4U (888.623-7248).