Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Sunday Is Derby Day on NW 5th

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Sunday Is Derby Day on NW 5th

Article excerpt

OKLAHOMA CITY - Dorothy Ellis, 81, needed some help. A lot of help.

She has lived in her home near NE 23rd Street and Interstate 35 since 1955. The home was built in 1935. In 2014, the roof leaked, the foundation was detached, and the carpet was threadbare. And a series of repairmen, including one enlisted to work on the heat and air conditioning system, caused more problems than they fixed.

"I couldn't climb up in the attic and see what the crap they were doing," she said. "He made a mess up there. He just got some money and did a sloppy job. Someone else did a sloppy job on the roof."

A friend called Rebuilding Together and the nonprofit organization worked on her home in 2014 and 2015. The group's volunteers brought the home up to building code. They painted the walls, replaced the carpet, redid the roof, reattached the home to the foundation, and bricked up some windows.

When it was done, she was left speechless.

"That was a gift," she said. "They were some of the nicest people that I know. I thank the Lord for them. They really have kept me safe."

Rebuilding Together Executive Director Mike Edmison said the nonprofit repaired about 250 homes last year, but there is always demand for them to do more. The group works with elderly, low- income homeowners to make their residences safe, warm and dry.

The Oklahoma City group covers from Danforth Road to SW 89th Street, and from Post Road in the east to County Line Road in the west.

"We're just at the tip of the iceberg for the need," he said. "We could be working all the time. People are in need of a lot of things. With all the rainstorms, we do a lot of roofing projects. We do a wheelchair ramp (somewhere) every Thursday. We're seeing a lot of (wheelchair ramps)."

A portion of the organization's annual $830,000 budget comes from the Construction Derby. This year's derby is Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. downtown. The free event centers on the No Motor Speedway where 30 teams will race their handmade vehicles. The races are held on NW Fifth Street between Walker and Shartel avenues.

In the last 13 years, the event has raised about $750,000.

Each team paid $500 to enter, with other support coming in through in-kind donations. …

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