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Lehigh veteran, volunteer receives new roof, repairs

October 10, 2012
Lehigh Acres Citizen

Builders Care, with the help of local Lee Building Industry Association members and volunteers, has completed renovations on the Lehigh Acres home of Phillip and Barbara Ruggieri.

Volunteering has always been a part of life for the couple, who regularly donate their time to support Our Daily Bread, a food pantry in Lehigh Acres.

Phillip , 73, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, is retired from the construction industry. He has only one lung and suffers with chronic lung disease. His wife of 26 years, Bobbie, 70, is a registered nurse and volunteers regularly at the Compassionate Care Clinic that serves Lehigh residents.

In the past, the couple was able to assist others in need through their contributions to different charities. Recently, they found themselves with a severely damaged roof and dangerous water damage that led to significant mold growth.

They were unable to afford the necessary repairs, nor were family members, who were also struggling financially. In addition to the structural dangers of the leak, the growing mold was a concern given Phillip's health problems.

The Ruggieris tried to save money and sought assistance for more than a year, even taking on repairs that they could do on their own. The roof leak proved to be more than they could handle and a neighbor referred them to Builders Care.

Builders Care was able to provide assistance with the help of the State Housing Initiatives Program, administered by the Lee County Community Development. Renovations included a new roof, new woodwork in many areas, new kitchen cabinets, drywall repair, paint and more.

Thirteen local businesses contributed to the project and donated construction management services, design services, plans, carpentry, plumbing, fixtures, paint and more. Construction services totaled more than $25,000.

To everyone whom entered their home, Phillip and Bobbie shared their appreciation for their newly renovated home.

"I just love it," he said. "I literally feel a weight lifted off my chest and my blood pressure lowered. We cannot thank you enough."

Tom Killingsworth, of Harbor Springs Building Company, spear-headed the project and led building partners to complete the project in just five days.

Other contributing partners included 3D Builders, Cabinets Plus, Cape Coral Plumbing, D. Peck Roofing, Full Spectrum Plumbing, JTE Electric, Kinetico Quality Water Systems, Lee Drywall, Mark's Dumpster Services, Performance Air, North American Pipe, TPI Aluminum Specialties, T&M Portable Restrooms, T&P Cleaning Services and West Coast Insulation.

This project makes No. 128 for Lee BIA Builders Care, increasing the total emergency construction services provided to more than $1.9 million since 2006.

Builders Care is the nonprofit charitable arm of the Lee Building Industry Association. Its objective is to provide emergency repairs and construction services to elderly, disabled and economically disadvantaged people who are unable to obtain home repairs through traditional means.

Builders Care enlists the volunteer services of Lee BIA members and leverages grants and donated materials to provide construction and remodeling services to qualified homeowners in Lee County.

Builders Care is headquartered at the Lee BIA offices, at 10501 Six Mile Cypress Parkway, Suite 104, in Fort Myers. For more information, call 938-0056.



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