Dozens of volunteers and organizers gathered at the Hunt family’s newly renovated Sixth Street East home on Dec. 15 to celebrate the (near) completion of Revelstoke’s first Habitat for Humanity project.
The project has hummed along quickly in the past weeks. New slate-grey flooring in the large living area complements fir cabinets in the kitchen. Specialty-milled fir trim adorns the windows , and fresh two-tone blue paint dries in one of the children’s rooms.
Pauline Hunt tells me about what’s to come. The countertops are a few days away, and the grout is drying on fireplace pad, which will feature a wood stove soon.
In a side room, a time-lapse video shot by Rob Buchanan and edited by Frank Desrosiers showed the many volunteers stripping the old house to the foundation and building it up again.
The group gathered for celebratory speeches, including words from lead organizer Cindy Pearce and Mark McKee of the Revelstoke Community Housing Society.
Pauline Hunt thanked all the volunteers for their efforts on the project: “When Cindy Pearce came to us about this project, never in my wildest dreams did I think was what we would end up with. Similarly, it’s not just a house. We are surrounded by love in this community,” Pauline said. “We are so grateful for that.”
Pauline has been diagnosed with ALS. The renovations are designed to improve accessibility and provide mobility at home for Pauline.
Over a hundred people worked on site, and many local businesses went above and beyond, making cash and in-kind donations.
Listing them all here isn’t possible.
PHOTO: Some of the core organizing group members. From left: Joel Olsen, Cindy Pearce, Bill Shuttleworth, Pam Doyle, Tuulikki Tennant and Fran Prunkle.
On a donor wall, organizers singled out ‘over the top’ volunteers. They are Jeff Acton, Eric Dafoe, Tyler Delaurier, Bob Dickson, Steve Kent, Mas Matsushita, Keith McNab, Chris Miller, Dwayne Rohachuck, Gary Starling, Jeannie Weston, Jeff Weston and Josh Weston.
The speeches highlighted the dedication and hard work put into the project by the volunteers.
Simon summed it up best in a brief speech to the audience. With tears welling up in his eyes, he thanked each member of the core organizing committee for the qualities they brought to the project:
“It takes a dream team to realize a dream. I could talk for days and days about our experience and people that we’ve worked with [but I’ll] try to simplify it down into just a few words for our team. For Gregg and Dana [Walker] who aren’t here today, it was friendship. For Bob [Fournier], who also isn’t here today, it was accountability. For Mavis [Cann], communication. Joel [Olsen] faith. Pam [Doyle], knowledge. Geoff [Battersby], wisdom. … and Dean [Prunkle], patience. And Tuulikki [Tennant], balance. And for Cindy [Pearce], unbelievable, unstoppable dedication and perseverance. Mark [McKee] and the Revelstoke [Community] Housing Committee, trust and [Habitat for Humanity], trust. And last of all, joy. And very last of all, courage.
“Thank you to the entire community. To everyone for the love and the support and your imagination and your creativity and your time. From the moment we open our eyes in the morning until the moment we close our eyes at night, we will remember,” Simon said.