Alpine firm lights kids’ fu­ture

Tradies come to the call to help build dream home for Holt chil­dren

Myrtleford Times - - Front Page - By SHANE DOUTHIE

IT’S said that in times of ad­ver­sity some­body in­vari­ably steps up to the plate.

And that’s just what a num­ber of North East en­ter­prises have done in the af­ter­math of Wan­garatta’s An­zac Day tragedy, last year, when four chil­dren aged be­tween four and nine lost their par­ents – leav­ing He­len and David Holt to raise and care for their grand­chil­dren.

Bright and District Elec­tri­cal and Al­bury-Wodonga’s Cava­lier Homes are just two who have gen­er­ously worked with a char­ity known as the ‘4 Kids and Car­ers Fu­ture Foun­da­tion’ to pro­vide the Holts with a new house.

Mr and Mrs Holt had down­sized and were liv­ing in a two-bed­room Wan­garatta house when the four chil­dren came to live with them.

Six in the small home added a lo­gis­ti­cal chal­lenge to the new cir­cum­stances in which the fam­ily found it­self.

Then four months ago, when the foun­da­tion was es­tab­lished to raise funds and aid the chil­dren’s fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity, find­ing a suit­able home for the fam­ily in which all could live com­fort­ably be­came a top pri­or­ity.

Foun­da­tion chair­man Jason Reid said the North East com­mu­nity had raised a sig­nif­i­cant amount of money to­wards the chil­dren’s fu­ture, but there re­mained much to do in the com­ing 12 to 15 years as they grow into teenagers and young adults.

The foun­da­tion is now a reg­is­tered char­i­ta­ble or­gan­i­sa­tion and able to of­fer full tax ben­e­fits to donors.

En­ter Cava­lier Homes Al­bury Wodonga sales man­ager Shane McDowall who heard of the fam­ily’s plight.

“Doreen (Wes­sel) con­tacted me ex­plain­ing the un­ten­able sit­u­a­tion with the Holts and the chil­dren liv­ing in a two-bed­room house and I just knew we had to do some­thing,” Mr McDowall said.

He raised the is­sue with Cava­lier Homes Al­bury Wodonga own­ers Dale Pad­dle and Paul Hodgkin.

“We were in a meet­ing and with no beat­ing around the bush I just blurted out that we needed to help and, as crazy as it sounds, build a house for David and He­len and the chil­dren,” Mr McDowall said.

“Both Dale and Paul are fam­ily men with kids of their own and they just looked at each other and with­out flinch­ing turned to each other and said ‘Okay, let’s do it’.”

The team from Cava­lier Homes then met with Mr Reid.

“The fol­low­ing week Jason brought David and He­len up to meet us and look through one of the dis­play homes at our River­side Es­tate,” Mr McDowall said.

“It was a very emo­tional meet­ing and, with what David and He­len and the chil­dren were go­ing through, we re­alised this can’t hap­pen quickly enough.”

Mr Reid ad­mit­ted he was taken aback when Cava­lier Homes came for­ward with the of­fer of a house.

“I along with the rest of the foun­da­tion board have been blown away by the gen­eros­ity of Dale, Paul and Shane, not to men­tion David and He­len who both feel so hum­bled by the whole thing,” he said.

“A block of land in Old School Road (Wan­garatta) was se­cured with the as­sis­tance of the ven­dor and the agents in­volved but we will need to con­tinue fundrais­ing to pay off the block.”

With the block and home in hand all that’s needed now to com­plete the dream is for lo­cal tradies to step for­ward to of­fer their ser­vices.

“We ap­pre­ci­ate it’s a big ask but the gen­eros­ity of the com­mu­nity so far gives us con­fi­dence we can make this dream a re­al­ity,” Mr Reid said.

“Cava­lier Homes and their sup­pli­ers will sup­ply all the build­ing prod­ucts. All we need is the labour to put it all to­gether.

“We need all trades, ba­si­cally any­thing to do with build­ing a home from scratch – land­scap­ers, con­creters, car­pen­ters, plas­ter­ers, plum­bers, elec­tri­cians, pain­ters, roofers, tilers, brick­lay­ers.

“Bright and District Elec­tri­cal have al­ready in­stalled un­der­ground power and a power­board at the site with­out be­ing asked and at their own ex­pense.”

Bright’s Ian McGil­livray said Ora Holt had been born and raised in Bright and had been known by many in the com­mu­nity.

“She was a friend of peo­ple on our staff and we all know Jason (Reid) who’s or­gan­is­ing the foun­da­tion,” Mr McGil­livray said.

“We thought it (con­nect­ing power to the house site) was just some­thing that we could do.

“One of guys work­ing here got in touch with Cava­lier – they hadn’t any­one on board who was do­ing the electrics. It was not a big deal – re­ally the least we could do.”

Mr McGil­livray said Ora’s father had worked in the build­ing sec­tor.

Paul Hodgkin will be project man­ager and Cava­lier Homes has un­der­taken to pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties at fu­ture projects to any of the tradies who step for­ward to help.

While there is no set time frame for the com­ple­tion of the project Mr Reid said there was one date in mind.

“It would be fan­tas­tic to have the kids in their home by An­zac Day next year for ob­vi­ous rea­sons,” he said.

Any trades­peo­ple in­ter­ested in be­ing a part of this project can con­tact Jason Reid (4KCFF pres­i­dent) on 0419 360 728, or Paul Hodgkin (Cava­lier Homes) on 0409 596 736.

PHOTO: Shane Douthie

FIELD OF DREAMS: David and He­len Holt, grand­par­ents and now guardians of the four Holt chil­dren at the house block pur­chased for the new Holt fam­ily home.

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