Community Helps Pahh House Become Home

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Julie Hill and her two children are moving into a brand new house today, with the help of the Payson Area Habitat for Humanity. Hill's family, friends, neighbors and local residents held a dedication ceremony Sunday.

"I'd like to thank everyone for everything," Hill said.

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Julie Hill, with her children, Brian, 5, and Jamie, 9, expressed her thanks to the family, friends and volunteers who made her new home a reality through the Payson Area Habitat for Humanity. Hill's home is the 11th built through the PAHH program. To help PAHH, attend the group's parking lot sale at the west end of Bashas' Saturday, Oct. 2, starting at 6:30 a.m.

More than 120 volunteers helped with the construction of the home, putting in 3,200 documented hours. There were many volunteers who contributed time to the project, but did not make a record of the hours they worked, said Judy Berger, public relations chairperson for PAHH.

Hill, her family and friends had to contribute at least 300 hours, but they far exceeded that number, Berger said.

Among the projects Hill did at her new house were selecting the color for the front door, and interior painting. She said painting inside was one of her favorite jobs.

"Watching them put the trusses up for the roof," she said was one of the most memorable parts of the construction. "It was one of the things that made it a reality," she said.

"It has been great experience," Hill said. "Everyone has been wonderful."

The dedication --fficiated by PAHH President Charles Proudfoot -- included remarks from Rev. Mel Munchinsky of the Payson United Methodist Church, which contributed more than $15,000 to the construction of the Hill house. Music was by Sound Doctrine, from Payson Christian Church, where Hill and her children, Jamie, 9, and Brian, 5, are members.

A flag was presented to the family by Kiwanis of Zane Grey Country. There were comments from Kathy Neblett, former chair of the Family Partnership Committee, who introduced representatives from the Pine Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and The Gideons. The LDS church gave each member of the Hill family a quilt and The Gideons gave them each a Bible. Dr. Keith and Kaye Blankenbuehler also presented the family with "welcome" plaques on behalf of the Rim Country Volunteers.

Proudfoot lauded several of Hill's new neighbors who contributed to the project. Norm and Mary England and Raquel Dunman donated funds to purchase concrete for the house's sidewalk, garage apron and parking pad, plus the landing on the utility room stairway. Mike Kelly made the forms, poured and finished the concrete for the structures. Pete Joyce made his property available to PAHH for parking its construction trailer through the entire building project.

There were 85 other donors who contributed additional labor or materials for the house.

The next house to be built by PAHH will be constructed in partnership with the Eric and Jaimee Hilgendorf family.

The PAHH mission is to provide decent, affordable and healthy housing for people who have low to moderate incomes and are unable to obtain conventional financing for housing in the Payson area. Each of the 11 homes that PAHH has constructed has been built in partnership with the families selected to live in them.

For more information about PAHH, call (928) 474-0330 or visit the website at paysonareahabitat.org.

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