JP Ramel, University of Utica student, community servant

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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 Sangertown Square Mall in New Hartford.

During the three days, more than 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

JP was from Pennsylvania and was a senior at the University of Utica, where he studied construction management.

Due to his dedication to service, he also volunteered as a firefighter with the New York Mills Fire Department while 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 died when he was only sixteen.

A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help pay for his funeral costs 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 Mega Build volunteers.

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

It’s only natural that JP spends 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 JP was one of the first people to contact him when the Utica chapter was just getting started. “He was there from the start, doing everything we asked.” Sperbeck said he and his family had the opportunity to have dinner with John Paul, and the young man indicated that when he returns to Pennsylvania after graduation, he will start an SHP chapter there.

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

“The world needs more JPs,” says Sperbeck.

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

Sleep in Heavenly Peace Mega Build

Local nonprofit Sleep in Heavenly Peace, which builds and provides beds for children in need, held a mega build at Sangertown Square Mall in New Hartford. Over 400 volunteers helped build 276 beds in three days!.

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