On the weekend of April 1,2 and 3, the Utica Chapter of the non-profit group Sleep in Heavenly Peace held a Mega Build at the Sangertown Square Mall in New Hartford.

During the three days, over 400 volunteers helped build 276 beds for local children in need.

One of those volunteers was John Paul “JP” Ramel.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace Mega Build Photo Credit: Kristine Bellino, WIBX / TSM
Sleep in Heavenly Peace Mega Build Photo Credit: Kristine Bellino, WIBX / TSM
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JP was from Pennsylvania and was a senior at Utica University, where he was studying Construction Management.

Because of his dedication to the service, he also volunteered as a firefighter at New York Mills Fire Department while he was in school.

On April 10, 2022 a week after the Mega Build, JP Ramel died of a stroke at the age of 22.  Ramel is survived by his aunt, with whom he lived after his parents passed away when he was just sixteen.

A Go Fund Me page has been established to help pay for costs related to his funeral as well as any other related expenses for John Paul.

The goal is $30,000.

This one hits close to home because I was one of the volunteers at the Mega Build.

Jim Rondenelli at Sleep in Heavenly Peace Mega Build Photo Credit: Dave Smith, WIBX / TSM
Jim Rondenelli at Sleep in Heavenly Peace Mega Build Photo Credit: Dave Smith, WIBX / TSM
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It’s only fitting that JP would spend the last week of his life doing what he loved to do – helping others.

Steve Sperbeck, the President of the Utica Chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace, said that J.P. waas one of the first people to contact him when the Utica Chapter was just getting started.  "He was there from the beginning, doing whatever we asked."  Sperbeck said that he and his family had an opportunity to have dinner with John Paul and the young man indicated that, when he returned to Pennsylvania after graduation, he was going to start an SHP chapter there.

A plaque will be placed at the Utica chapter headquarters in his memory.

"The world needs more JP's," says Sperbeck.

Thank you for all you did, JP and Sleep in Heavenly Peace.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace Mega Build

The local non-profit Sleep in Heavenly Peace, which builds and provides bed to children in need, held a Mega Build at the Sangertown Square Mall in New Hartford. Over 400 volunteers helped build 276 bed over three days!.

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