Help still needed for house-building project for Newell family

Volunteers are still needed to help Army Sgt. Ryan Newell and his family build their home in the city of Marion.

The ?Sgt. Ryan Newel Build Brigade? will begin work at 8:30 a.m. Friday, April 16, and go until 5:30 p.m. Sunday, April 18, at the site, 1001 Tanglewood Lane (Country Club Heights), said Donna Kreutziger, food coordinator for the project.

?We are expecting 75 to 100 people on site and would love to have as much support as possible,? she said.

As of Friday, April 2, Kreut?ziger said, more volunteers were still sought.

While in Afghanistan, Newell became injured in January 2009 when a roadside bomb exploded, resulting in him losing both legs.

After spending nearly one year at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., he returned home to Marion.

Once home, Newell discovered that his two-story house limited his mobility to only a few rooms on the first floor, according to information provided by Meaghan Lambert, project facilitator.

Good news came, though, when Newell and his family were selected by a national organization that builds homes.

Homes for Our Troops, established in 2004, Lambert said, builds homes for veterans who were severely disabled, providing them with an accessible place to live.

The non-profit organization relies on the generosity of local businesses and volunteers, donating money, time and materials to help with the project.

Hett Construction is the general contractor and Ralph Kreut?ziger will oversee the construction.

The goal for the three-day weekend is to get the basic framing on the house completed to include windows, siding and a roof.

So far, the foundation has been poured with some plumbing installed.

Many other groups and individuals in Marion, Hillsboro and other areas throughout the county, are donating time as well, Kreutziger said.

The Kiwanis Club in Marion will be serving pancakes Friday morning, she said.

For more information, call Gene Winkler.

Carlson?s Grocery will be taking the evening slot for meals.

The American Legion Post 366 in Hillsboro has volunteered to do the breakfast of biscuits and gravy Saturday (April 17). Dick Carr is the contact for breakfast.

Eastmoor United Methodist Curch has accepted lunch duty Saturday afternoon with the Marion VFW 6958 and its auxiliary will be available through the weekend and doing the Sunday meal.

The American Legion, Sons and Legion Riders will also be helping, with Gary and Karen Chaput as contacts.

The Florence American Legion is serving Sunday lunch.

?This is going to be a really big weekend,? she said. ?We will have a traveling mobile kitchen and generator.?

Ice tea, coffee and water will be served day and night.

?We want to make sure people are fed,? Kreutziger said, ?because volunteers will be working through the night.?

Donations have included paint, countertops and electrical work, but other items are still needed.

?After the Build Brigade, the house is a weather-tight shell,? Lambert said. ?We can then begin the interior work and move towards completing the specially adapted home for Sgt. Newell and Carrie.?

Newell and wife Carrie have three children: Ethan, Skylar and Gabby.

?Ryan is the son-in-law of Shawn Wunderlick and Tom Wunderlick and grandson of Mary Yerion,? Donna Kreutziger said.

The Newells? home is expected to be completed sometime this summer, Lambert said.

For more information on how to help with food or construction April 16-18, call Donna Kreut?ziger, 620-382-2931.

For more information on donating time, materials or money, call Lambert at 508-823-3300.

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