Flames player helps fam­i­lies

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - JOSH SKAPIN

Calgary Flames de­fence­man Mark Gior­dano traded in his hockey stick for a ham­mer when he and some PGA Tour Canada play­ers helped build a du­plex for Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity in Evanston on Tues­day.

The group chipped in with ex­te­rior work, in­clud­ing sid­ing on the garage, cut­ting base­boards, and var­i­ous jobs on the home’s in­te­rior, in­clud­ing mould­ing.

Gior­dano is hon­orary chair for the PGA Tour’s 2013 ATB Fi­nan­cial Clas­sic, which runs un­til Sun­day at the Coun­try Hills Golf Club.

He’s taken part in sev­eral Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity projects in Al­berta dur­ing the past two years and calls the pro­gram “more of a hand up than a hand out.”

To qual­ify for a home through the pro­gram, fam­i­lies are re­quired to log 500 vol­un­teer hours.

“It helps fam­i­lies get a safe home and un­der a roof, but at the same time, they have to put the hours in,” said Gior­dano.

“Meet­ing a few of the fam­i­lies, they’re very ap­pre­cia­tive, very hard work­ing and in a lot of cases, they’ve got four or five chil­dren and it’s tough — but they’re will­ing to work and put in the time.”

The Evanston build is a two­s­torey du­plex with 1,030 square feet on ei­ther side. Two fam­i­lies are ex­pected to take pos­ses­sion of the home this Au­gust. Work on the du­plex started last Oc­to­ber. The golfers who rolled up their sleeves for the pro­ject in­clude Brett Kanda, Jeff Ran­gel, James Al­lenby, Chris Cunningham, Ryan Wil­liams, David Byrne and David Lang, along with PGA Tour pres­i­dent Jeff Mon­day.

“While their liveli­hood is what they do in­side the ropes, they’re very ac­tive in mak­ing sure they par­tic­i­pate in the com­mu­nity in which we have the tour­na­ments,” said Mon­day.

“To do this where you can re­ally see the fruits of your labour, and our labour is a lot less than other peo­ple are putting into this, it means a lot to our play­ers.”

He added, some of the skills they dis­play on the greens have trans­lated to the con­struc­tion site.

“My guess is they’re a lot bet­ter on the golf course than they are on a house, but I’ve seen some guys wield­ing the ham­mer pretty well here,” he said, laugh­ing. “They’ve got that nice mo­tion through the golf swing.”

But, Gior­dano added, no­body will con­fuse him for a handy­man.

“I’m ac­tu­ally pretty ter­ri­ble at it,” he joked, adding as­sis­tance from ex­pe­ri­enced builders had been es­sen­tial. “That’s an­other good thing about com­ing out to th­ese builds. You learn a lot and they teach you how to use dif­fer­ent power tools and do dif­fer­ent things around the house that can help in the long run.”

Pho­tos, Josh Skapin/ Calgary Her­ald

Above and left, Calgary Flames blue­liner Mark Gior­dano, in red hard hat, at a Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity pro­ject in Evanston. He joined play­ers from the PGA Tour Canada to help con­struct a du­plex.

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