In early December Sunbury Village and Delaware County officials gathered at 293 Prairie Run Road in Sunbury to break ground on a new home being built by Adaptive Homes for a wounded veteran. The home is to be built for United State Marine Corps Veteran Mike Damroze and his wife Kelsey with his specific needs in mind, and the build will be ADA compliant.
Since December the Prairie Run home has been under construction. Adaptive Homes Executive Director Katie Filbrun said the house is under roof and would soon be weather tight; the closing date is early September.
Last Sunday afternoon Jon Self and his Big Walnut Grill staff opened their doors for an opportunity for members of the Big Walnut community to meet Mike and Kelsey, and as an Adaptive Homes fundraiser for the Sunbury project.
Filbrun said about 70 area folks attended the event, and that the home’s minimum fundraising goal had been met, 50 percent of construction costs.
Attending Sunday was Cheryl Wampler, who presented a $2,000 check from Tech International in Johnstown, and Bob Washington, owner of Do It Best Hardware that donated the project’s interior and exterior paint.
“We’re very pleased with the support this project has had from the Big Walnut community,” Filbrun said. “There couldn’t be a nicer place for Mike and Kelsey to live and raise a family.”
Mike Damroze said the support of the local community has been overwhelming.
“There are a lot of patriotic people in the Big Walnut community who are willing to give something back,” Damroze said.
Big Walnut Grill owner Jon Self, a Vietnam Veteran, is known for his support of veterans and veteran’s causes. The week before Sunday’s Adaptive Homes meet and greet Self joined forces with Donna Evans and held a vet’s luncheon at the grill.
“Being a veteran myself, I’m always looking for opportunities to help other veterans,” Self said. “Of course, we couldn’t do this without the support of the local community.”
Filbrun said even though the Sunbury project’s minimum goal has been met, additional funds would be needed before the project is complete. Galena United Methodist Church is holding a 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, August 15 as an Adaptive Homes fundraiser, and a golf outing is planned for late September at Chapel Hill Golf Course in Mount Vernon.
Adaptive Homes, CDC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. All trade labors and local vendors are locally contracted when available, keeping jobs in Sunbury and Delaware County.
Adaptive Homes, CDC is also committed to transitioning Wounded Warriors back into the mainstream, training disabled veterans in the construction trades, and is looking for licensed and skilled tradesmen to volunteer to assist with on-the-job training.
To participate in this build and others planned this year, Adaptive Homes, CDC is seeking additional volunteers (skilled and unskilled) as well as materials donations and financial donations.
For additional information about Adaptive Homes and how to contribute to the Sunbury project, go to < adaptivehomescdc.org >, or email < Katie@adaptivehomescdc.org >, or call Katie Filbrun at 614-805-3706.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola may be reached at 614-266-6093.