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WKU fraternity among partners on Housing Authority’s home makeover project

In the spirit of the nationally televised Extreme Home Makeover television show, the Housing Authority of Bowling Green will coordinate its third Bowling Green’s Very Own Home Makeover with community-based work beginning Friday (March 21) at 255 Ragland Way.

According to the HABG’s Richard Reker, “I look forward to working with businesses and individuals we have worked with in the past again, as well as our three new incoming partners: Independence Bank, Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity (Fiji), and Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College.”

Independence Bank is community driven, meaning they actually get involved in the communities, where they live and work in. Their employees give of their own time to support causes and projects that matter most to them which help make our communities better. Last year, Independence Bank gave more than $1.1 million back to communities it serves. This project is similar to Independence Bank’s commitment to Habitat for Humanity as the bank has agreed to build nine houses over nine years in the nine counties it serves. House number five was built last year and a new home is on the horizon to be built in Warren County.

Since chartering in 2010, WKU Fiji has been expanding its service work around the community and the nation. One of the group’s biggest involvements is Bike4Alz, where in the summer, fraternity members bike across America raising awareness for Alzheimer’s and raising more than $70,000 for research and treatment. Fiji also is passionate about pursuing knowledge as the group has had the highest GPA of any fraternity on campus since chartering. Over fall break last semester, they assisted Fuller Center for Housing in Louisville in housing renovation for low-income families. This experience has carried over to the group’s excitement to be a part of Housing Authority of Bowling Green’s efforts to improve the Bowling Green community and make a difference in others’ lives, said Kyle Stewart and Taylor Bowling.

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKYCTC) is partnering with the Housing Authority of Bowling Green for this Extreme Home Makeover project. Under the direction of their program instructors, students of the college’s Air Conditioning and Electricity programs will be working with professionals to install the wiring and heating and cooling systems in the home. “This provides a great opportunity for our students to gain on-site experience and at the same time provide a service to the community,” said SKYCTC Dean of Applied Technology Gene Basil. SKYCTC provides career pathway education and training for degree completion, transfer and employment.

Abraham Williams, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Bowling Green, is chairing the committee to place a family in the home. “We have several good candidates and will make an announcement soon as to who we can help in 2014,” he said. “A special thanks goes to the committee for helping identify families in need.”

Preliminary work will begin on the home with the City of Bowling Green providing partial funding to support the renovation through the 2013-2014 Community Block Development Grant Program. Community-based work will begin March 21 with the goal of handing over the keys in July.

Reker invites anyone interested in helping with the project, be it financially, through the donation of goods and services or through volunteering time, to contact him at the Housing Authority Main Office at (270) 843-6071. “Support from the community is essential to this program’s success,” Reker said. “We are so excited about providing a newly renovated home to a family in need. Community members, business owners and others can feel that same sense of satisfaction and pride knowing they are a part of the project. They just have to get involved.”

Contact: Susan Weber, (270) 467-7156.

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