Photo special to Design & Living Magazine
By Bryce Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of HBA of F-M
People in the homebuilding industry not only work to build homes, but make it a priority to build up the communities in which they live. A recent example of this involves longtime Moorhead resident, George Rick, who has been fighting stage-four small-cell lung cancer, bone cancer and liver cancer.
Complications from bone cancer sometimes make it difficult for him to walk without help. He and his family learned that a temporary ramp George had been using daily to come and go from home would be taken away. His 1940s rambler needed to be updated with a permanent handicap-accessible ramp.
Lisa Spriggs of M & J Construction of Moorhead, Inc., is an HBA member and friend of the Rick family. She knew the HBA Remodelers Council is a resource for assisting in building permanent ramps. M & J Construction of Moorhead, Inc., and Stenerson Lumber were willing to provide the materials and plans. They just needed skilled volunteers to help construct the ramp.
The Remodelers Council was up for the challenge. Approximately 15 HBA volunteers provided their time, tools and know-how to complete a new deck and ramp in just one day.
Eileen Rick, George’s wife, shared this with HBA staff:
“When something like this hits, you don’t realize how we take things for granted. All of a sudden he can’t walk, and we were wondering ‘How are we going to get him in and out?’ Winter coming presents its challenges as well.”
She describes George as someone who, over the years, was always there to help others, whether it was a neighbor roofing his house, fixing a car or building a garage, George would show up to lend a hand. Eileen said it was extremely hard for him to sit by and watch the crew working since he is accustomed to being one of the helpers.
George retired about ten years ago from working as a carpet and flooring installer in the FM area. In addition to the cancer fight, he suffers from congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Eileen said in a message to the HBA and its members, “I can’t thank your organization enough! It’s wonderful to know there are people out there that will do things like this and we can’t believe the generosity of this community.”
Bryce Johnson has been with the HBA of F-M for 25 years, serving as its executive office over the past 19 years.
HOME BUILDERS ASSOCIATION OF FM
The Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead promotes an environment in which members and their businesses can prosper.