Local heroes come together to create ‘special space’ for a ‘special kid’
This month’s edition of Hometown Heroes promises to be just a little bit different.
Rather than honoring a single individual, this article will instead spotlight all who dedicated their time, energy and financial resources to the completion of “Maddie O’s” new bedroom.
“We were blessed by our many volunteers,” said Lacy Dwiggins-Gambill, director of Special Spaces St. Louis, the organization responsible for the creation of Maddie’s room. “With one call to each of them they immediately jumped on board and were willing to help in every way possible.”
First of all, Maddie’s new room would not have been possible if not for the selflessness and generosity of the Champion family of Troy who donated the money they would normally have spent on one another at Christmas so that Maddie could have her special space.
The Champion family includes Tony and Kaye Champion, as well as their sons Steven and Ryan and their wives Amanda and Jennifer, all of whom were present during the final stages of Maddie’s room, as well as its unveiling.
Donating time and labor were Elsberry residents Aaron Kinsler, Clinton Foster and Bill Toeniskoetter who helped frame Maddie’s room.
Other Elsberry residents who donated time and labor include Matt and Kandi Kinsler of Kins Construction, as well as Clay Foster and Blake Wilson, all of whom helped with dry walling, trimming and the installation of the drop ceiling.
“They accommodated Maddie’s schedule to be sure we minimized the dust and smells from the paint and flooring glue,” said Gambill.
Dennis Hammack of Elsberry helped wire and drop in the can lights and Todd Gambill painted Maddie’s room.
Mike, Shellie, Michael and Kade Ligon of Ligon’s Flooring installed the flooring in Maddie’s room.
“It was a family effort,” said Mike Ligon.
Special recognition is also due to the Elsberry School District, in particular Dr. Tim Reller, Karen Kinsler, Jason Vandivort, and George Nieters.
Dr. Reller graciously agreed to allow Special Spaces St. Louis the use of the Ag. building for their off-site construction and sewing projects.
Karen Kinsler coordinated with Dr. Reller and Vandivort to arrange for the use of the facility and she was responsible for putting Special Spaces St. Louis in contact with Vandivort and getting the ball rolling.
Vandivort and Nieters were also instrumental in the completion of several construction projects and allowed Special Spaces St. Louis to have full use of the shop and their tools.
“They were amazing hosts,” said Gambill.
Last but certainly not least, Boone Creech of Old Monroe Lumber donated materials for Maddie’s room.
“He is always very generous with us,” said Gambill.
Special Spaces St. Louis Committee Members and other volunteers present prior to and during the unveiling of Maddie’s room included Jaime Dwiggins-Reed of Elsberry, Cheryl Snow, Teresa Hutton and Alex Hutton, Keelyn Harris, Melinda Land and Allen Land, Rich Lamb of Elsberry, Dawn Mooney of Elsberry, Carol and Kaity Grills of Elsberry, Missy, Kevin and Mary Halloran, Dana, Cara and Myra Marty of Elsberry and Sharon Colona.
“Many times during the stages of Maddie’s room I would find myself tearing up and feeling blessed by everyone,” said Gambill. “Her room would not have been possible without everyone’s help.”