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This was a week of transition for the project in Paradise, CA. We had 10 weekly volunteers from central Pennsylvania, consisting of 5 married couples, who brought vibrant energy to the project, joining those already present. Then on Wednesday we welcomed new Project Director Don Lichti, from Tucson, AZ. He was joined by a couple from Harrisonburg, VA, Beverly Delp, Office Manager, and Laverne Delp, Construction Manager. Joanne Barta, from Portland, OR, is a Crew Leader.

We also said goodbye to Keith (Calvin) Fields as he returned home. Those departing also included Fred Hershey, Construction Supervisor, Millie Hershey, Assistant Cook, Lois Hochstetler, Project Director, and Wayne Hochstetler, Office Manager.

The men present were quite experienced in various aspects of construction and were very helpful in putting on the roof at Scottwood. The women finished the drywall and painted the interior of the Newland Rd house. By the end of the week the Scottwood house was sided, roofed, and trimmed.

We again returned to Jewell Road and hung interior doors, working toward completion. We also worked on the Honey Run Rd house, preparing the floor for flooring.

Sadly, we report the death of the owner of the Newland Rd house. She was hospitalized last week and passed away in the hospital. After we install flooring and other materials already purchased, our work there will pause as we await decisions of the attorneys representing the interests of the Town of Paradise, along with the decisions of the family.

This was a very hot week, with temperatures in the upper 90’s, and that presented challenges for those working outdoors. But we drank lots of water and worked more slowly.

We again attended the weekly “Party In The Park” where we were met by Bruce Yerman, Chairman of the Camp Fire Collaborative, our long-term recovery group. He met our volunteers and expressed his appreciation to the group for their work and for coming to Paradise and helping rebuild Paradise.

The Mayor of Paradise, Steve Crowder, and his wife were our guests for a grilled pork loin dinner. They shared through pictures and stories their experience of coming through the fire. They patiently answered many questions. Thank you, Mayor and Lori Crowder.

The week culminated with a relaxing evening at Bille Park overlooking the canyon to the west.

Next week begins MDS’ Summer Youth Program. We are looking forward to painting and installing cabinetry in the Honey Run house, continuing to work on the interior of the Scottwood house, and working toward completion of the Jewell Rd house. We will finish some work at the Newland Rd house as we also continue to pray for the owner’s family.

Thank you for your interest in this project.

Wayne Hochstetler, Office Manager, on behalf of the whole Paradise team

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