Home Builders Association builds ramp for RAMP consumer

Online Staff Report

The Home Builders Association of the Greater Rockford Area, in partnership with RAMP, donated its time and materials Saturday, Sept. 21, to build a ramp for a woman who was unable to get out of her home on her own because of her physical limitations.

The following volunteers were involved in the construction of the ramp: Gary Oehlberg, Gary Oehlberg Construction Co. Inc.; Ron Beard, Ron Beard Custom Building; Kevin Flosi, Flosi Construction; Brad VanderHayden, Advance Chimney Systems; Ken Hausvick, Briarwood Builders; Kerry Lopin, Rosewood Kitchen and Bath; and Dennis Sweeney, Home Builders Association of Rockford. In addition, Menards discounted the materials.

Sweeney, executive vice president of the Home Builders Association, said: “We are happy to partner with a great organization like RAMP because they have the experience and responsibility in determining someone with a true need. Gary Oehlberg, president of the Home Builders Association and owner of Oehlberg Construction, is a strong supporter of RAMP. We are happy to donate our time and materials to help someone out.”

RAMP’s executive director, Julie Bosma, added: “RAMP was grateful to be the conduit between the family needing the ramp and the Rockford Homebuilders generously offering to build one. When that kind of connection is made and community support is leveraged, it is pure adrenaline to do the work we do every day!”

The daughter of the ramp recipient, Cheryl Lester, shared: “We are just so profoundly grateful for what they are doing for our mother. Because of her disabilities, I am unable to help her out of the house, even when she needs to go to medical appointments. I would have to plan for two or three people to help her down the stairs. And if there was ever an emergency and she needed to get out of the house, we are not sure what she would have done. And just the simple pleasure of her being able to get out and enjoy her yard again is wonderful.

I am learning that caring for elderly parents is quite an expense,” Lester added. “We are just everyday people and we don’t take this for granted — we are blessed.”

RAMP is a passionate partner for people with disabilities desiring to live a useful and rewarding life. RAMP empowers people with disabilities to realize there are no limits to what they can do. This is accomplished by assisting them to live independently, making changes in their lives, seeking peer support, obtaining resources and removing barriers that threaten their dreams of independence.

RAMP advocates the implementation of current laws, promotion of needed legislation and improvement of existing systems for people with disabilities while working to diminish negative attitudes that threaten to impede equal access. RAMP advocates for and serves people with disabilities out of four offices in Boone, DeKalb, Stephenson and Winnebago counties. RAMP is a United Way Member Agency.

Posted Oct. 2, 2013

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