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Needed: White horse

image The Dennis Steel crew gets to work righting a wrong for a Leander non-profit.

AUSTIN – David Dennis, owner of Dennis Steel in Leander, admits he has a soft spot for Open My World Therapeutic Riding Center (OMW), also in Leander.

    But he didn’t know anything about the non-profit center until he answered a call for help.
    OMW offers therapeutic horse riding for individuals, primarily children, who have disabilities. Founder/director Donna Roland says Dennis was a knight in shining armor.
    “During the past two years, OMW has been holding fundraisers and saving their funds to pay for a project to cover their arena,” Roland said. “The project has been done in phases and in November 2015 the final phase of construction was scheduled. The date was set. The day came and went. The contractor did not respond.”
    Roland says the center attempted to contact the contractor numerous times before looking for someone else to finish the project.
    “David took 20 minutes to come and see what our project looked like and without hesitation took on the challenge,” she says. “He not only took on the task but agreed to supply a missing beam and roofing material for the additional length, for the same relatively small amount of the balance due on the original bid!”
    Dennis said he had already made up his mind to help after only a few minutes of observing the children and the horses.
    “She is setting the bar for good deeds over there,” he says. “All I had to do was go over there one day and see the children. It was amazing. They do that every day. My hat is off to them.”
    Dennis said the original contractor had put up the steel columns and made the roof rafters for the covered arena, but everything needed to be put together and it was found that more sheets were needed for the roof.  He said it took about two weeks to finish the project.
    Roland just thinks Dennis is one of the good guys.
    “If we had a white horse, we would have him ride it!” she says.
    Dennis started Dennis Steel in 1980 with a welding machine in the back of his pickup truck.   
    “When the University of Texas started the expansion of its dormitories, we were doing the handrails and burglar bars,” he says. “We did that for many years before we started doing structural steel. I find it very satisfying.”
    The company now boasts 71 employees and finds most of its work through referrals from satisfied customers.
    “I would have to say I know every job we have comes from a customer,” Dennis says. “It’s not a real big secret. Our only job is to make our customers happy. If we ever lose sight of that, we’ll go the way other businesses do.”
    The company mainly focuses on residential and commercial work. –cw


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