Bob Basarab had no idea that his life was about to change about four years ago when he fielded a request to help a nonprofit organization that was interested in purchasing some stone for an ongoing renovation.
The business development manager for Belair Road Supply, Basarab’s family had a long history of military service.
“My dad was in the military. My uncle and my grandfather,” Basarab said.
As Patriot Point endeavored to spruce up the property and add stonework to the Main House, Guest House and the new Welcome Center and Barn, leaders reached out to Eldorado Stone. That request then was forwarded to Basarab, who is the director of business development for Bel Air Road Supply, headquartered in Baltimore and the closest Eldorado distributor to Patriot Point.
“I went down to Patriot Point and talked to [Military Bowl Foundation President & Executive Director] Steve Beck and [Patriot Point founding member] Stuart Plank,” Basarab said. “Once they explained to me what Patriot Point is all about, I said, ‘Hey, I’ll help you all I can. How can I help day to day?’ ”
Eldorado provided 4,500 square feet of architectural stone veneer to Patriot Point, but that was just the start of Basarab’s involvement. He sponsors two retreats a year, hosting guests on their visits, and supplies scrapple and bacon for Patriot Point guests year-round. He estimated that he makes the 2 ½-hour drive from his home in Aberdeen 10-12 times a year.
“It’s better for me to be involved, rather than just sending money and pretending I’m involved,” Basarab said.
“Some people look at things and do them because they think it’s warranted. I just look at it as my family has a substantial record of military service. I didn’t join the military – I had the opportunity but I didn’t. This is my way of continuing the legacy and being part of my family. I can move the needle and help people. Patriot Point instantly become entwined in my life because there was a connection.”
Basarab is continually amazed at the unique story that it seems each Patriot Point guest shares.
“It’s never the same,” Basarab said. “There are one or two in every group that just become instant friends. They text me; they call me; they send me notes on Facebook. My goal is to get all the people I know involved so they can see Patriot Point the way I see it.
“I’ve made so many new friends and added a subculture in life that has meaning and helping aspects to it. I wouldn’t give it up for anything. I wish I could explain in words what it feels like to host 10 guys that have different stories and different circumstances and different experiences. It’s so fulfilling and so rewarding.”