Lions Club donates $10,000 to Boyle Habitat

May 21, 2004|HERB BROCK

Habitat for Humanity Boyle County has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Danville Lions Club and Lions Club International for its latest project, the construction of a house for a deaf family.

The grant includes $9,000 from Lions Club International and a $1,000 match from the Danville club, said Richard McGuire, president.

The grant will be applied to the construction of a Habitat house being built on Duncan Hill in South Danville for Donald and Darah Turpin and their daughter.

"Lions Club International has a grant program specifically targeted for Habitat for Humanity houses for handicapped persons, and this Danville project for the deaf family certainly drew their attention," said McGuire, noting that the local Habitat organization's application was one of several for the grant. "This is the first local Habitat house for a handicapped family, and we're very pleased we can help with the project."

The local Lions Club has contributed funds to several Habitat for Humanity Boyle County houses over the years, but this is the first time it, along with the international club, has awarded a grant.


"Habitat is an important program to our membership," McGuire said. "We, as a club, have donated money to the organization for several of its houses, and several members, on an individual basis, have helped with construction."

Mike Smith, project manager for the local Habitat organization and also finance committee chairman, said he was pleased that the organization won the grant and said it would help defray construction costs.

"It's a wonderful gift that the Lions have given us, and we will put it to good use," said Smith, who also thanked the Heart of Kentucky United Way for its continued financial support as well as numerous local contractors and individuals for in-kind donations of labor and materials.

The Turpins' Habitat house is expected to cost nearly $50,000 to build. The couple, who each are putting in 250 hours of "sweat-equity" labor on the project, will pay for the house with a no-interest loan from the local Habitat organization.

Donald Turpin, a 32-year-old custodian at the Kentucky School for the Deaf, his wife Darah, 28, an employee at a local fast-food restaurant, and the couple's 3-year-old daughter, Sarah, are all deaf. In addition, both Darah and Sarah Turpin suffer from an eye condition which is causing them to lose their vision.

Meanwhile, construction on the Turpins' one-story, three-bedroom, two-bath house is in the home stretch, according to Smith.

"We are installing the insulation Saturday, with the help of Danville and Boyle County government officials, and we're almost done with the exterior," he said. "We will be doing drywall next week and hope to have everything ready for the Turpins to close on the house and move in by the end of June."

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