Contact: New American Homes, Inc.
NEW AMERICAN HOMES’ HOUSE DONATED TO WOUNDED VET
Saturday, August 18, will be an All-American day at a waterfront community on the Chain O’ Lakes.
A new home at Newport Cove, a planned unit development overlooking Bluff Lake, will be gifted to an Army veteran severely wounded in Afghanistan. Nick Mapson, his wife Jackie and his two young sons will receive the keys to a four-bedroom ranch home. Called the LIFEhouse™ for a Hero, the home is universally designed; in other words, it is more accessible to a wider population of people.
Mapson was trapped inside an armored vehicle when it was hit by a roadside bomb. He suffered third degree burns over most of his body and was not expected to live. He spent months in military hospitals and will deal with the aftermath of the burns for the rest of his life.
The waterfront park at Newport Cove is the site of the August 18 festivities which include: Army paratroopers jumping with giant American flags and the keys to the home, the Navy Swing Band from Great Lakes Naval Station, the Patriot Guard, NFL players, other musicians, boat demonstrations, give-aways, games, food vendors and more. The festivities, open to the public, are from 1 to 8 p.m. The key ceremony starts at 4 p.m.
According to Susanne Tauke, president of New American Homes and owner of the Newport Cove development, the story of the LIFEhouse™ for a Hero is a series of small miracles. Working with the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA Center) at University of Buffalo, State University of New York, her company built a LIFEhouse™ concept home illustrating many ideas for a home people can live in from cradle to grave.
Last winter the National Association of Home Builders awarded the house a Best of 50-Plus Housing Award.
But, prior to that, a couple viewing the home came to Tauke and said they would like to anonymously donate a home to a wounded vet. They picked her community and the LIFEhouse™ concept for their donation. Tauke provided the land and the couple has given more than $250,000 toward the cost of the house.
In the meantime, Tauke teamed up with the Chrysalis Foundation of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago to work on finding products for the house. The HBAGC had recently started a charitable joint venture with the Chicago Chapter of the NFL Retired Players Association to do community housing projects, so the players came on board as well.
Then, when Tauke was at the International Building Show picking up the LIFEhouse™ award, she met a representative of LP SmartSide and SmartTrim, who introduced her to a charity called Operation Finally Home. LP and the charity were instrumental in bringing on board several donors, including Andersen Windows, Mohawk Flooring and Wausau Building Supply. These, plus dozens of HBAGC members and New American Homes’ subcontractors, donated products to the home. “Having the donor land on my doorstep, getting the HBAGC and NFL players involved, running into the LP rep at the convention, meeting Operation Finally Home – these small events added up to one big miracle,” Tauke said.
“In a time when the home building industry is in such financial trouble, it is remarkable how generous people have been,” she added, noting how a mason she did not know simply phoned and offered to do the stonework on the house. He brought three other masons, and they finished the work in a matter of hours. “People like that restore one’s faith in humanity,” she said.
Newport Cove is located in unincorporated Lake County just south of Antioch at the crossroads of Bluff Lake Road and Elime Road. For further information call 847.726.2727