Haynes House builders aim for summer ribbon cutting

New Year sees much progress on ‘Comfort care home’

As a structure begins to rise from the former site of the parsonage at the South Granville Congregational Church, excitement builds among organizers and volunteers – the Haynes House of Hope is close to becoming a reality.

Haynes House of Hope President Crystal Everdyke said the trusses should be swung into place some time soon. Everdyke said everyone was looking forward to having the structure enclosed.

“I was happy to see how much it looks so much like the old house,” Everdyke said.

The historic parsonage had to be torn down when it was found to be too far gone to save for a reasonable amount of money. The new plan was created as an homage to the historical value and appearance of the parsonage where the comfort care home’s namesake lived from 1822 to 1833.

Everdyke said the excitement had been building, with people stopping to check on construction progress as well as stopping to drop off food and hot beverages for the volunteers working there, notably Steve Record, Todd Smith and Tom Harris from Mandy Spring Nursery.

Haynes House board member Peter O’Brien said, “We have the roof going on and the excitement is generating throughout the communities. There are a lot of volunteers stepping up and have, or will, get the job done.”

Haynes House organizers said they hoped to line up a donor or donors to help feed workers who turn out for larger work parties.

Now that the structure is something more than an idea, Everdyke said she’s a bit in awe of what has already been accomplished.

“It’s hard to believe it’s actually happening,” Everdyke said. “I can picture it being done and picture myself walking through it when it’s done. I’ve been over there a couple of times and I can picture what room I’m in.”

Everdyke said if the construction stays on pace then a ribbon-cutting ceremony would be in store for some time during the summer.

Despite a pace for the Haynes House effort that at times seemed glacial, Everdyke said she was impressed when she heard a typical effort like this one often takes seven years from conceptualization to opening the doors. At this pace it appears the Haynes House of Hope will open its doors just over three and a half years after being dreamed up.

With delays in obtaining the building permit and in evaluating the old parsonage before determining it had to be torn down, Everdyke said it really is an exceptionally fast pace for realizing this dream.

“We’ve made amazing progress, the thought of being open in the summer is pretty incredible – whenever we think “not fast enough,” we’re cutting that in half,” she said. 

 “I’ll be glad when it’s closed in,” she said.

With the building’s roof on interior work can finally begin and the volunteers will have a heated space to work. Skilled volunteers have made an enormous contribution, she said, because their time is every bit as valuable as money. Everdyke said a lot of contractors had already come forward pledging plumbing and electrical work.

“It’s working out well,” she said, “We’ve had a lot of people interested in doing things for us.”  

“The one thing that has amazed me through this whole process is how many people come forward to support us despite having never seen one of these things before; they’re willing to put their time into something they’ve never heard of,” Everdyke said. 

With a new year comes new board members Patricia Harrison, Jackie Becker and Joanne Baker who take over for original members Rick Roberts, Michelle “Mickey” Shaw and Bonnie Pratt.

“We really appreciate everyone who had been with us since the beginning, I want to thank the outgoing board members who helped us get this thing started, they were there at a really crucial time and helped us get established and get to where we are now,” Everdyke said.

The new members have jumped in and been invaluable, it’s nice to have Pat and Jackie with their medical backgrounds and Pat has helped us tremendously with grant writing,” she continued.

Despite the national downturn in the economy, the Haynes House effort continues to gather assistance from donors.

“It really touches your heart when people give because you know they’re giving what they can, it doesn’t matter what the size of the donation is because you know they really just want to find a way to help. The people that want to help still find a way,” she said. 

On the fundraising front, Everdyke said the first printing of cookbooks had sold out and a second printing would take place.

The Granville High School seventh grade home economics classes that made soup mix kits plan to make up a bigger batch this year because last year’s mixes also sold quickly.

The third Haynes House of Hope Music Festival is slated for Aug. 1, once again at the Modern Woodmen Carnival Grounds in Wells, Vt.

Long before the festival will be the second Sweetheart Dinner Dance, Everdyke said. Tickets are on sale now for the Valentine’s Day event at the Granville Forum. Tickets are $75 per couple or $40 each and include dinner and dancing with the band “EnerJazz.” The evening begins with a cash bar from 5 p.m. with the buffet dinner starting at 6 p.m. followed by dancing at 8 p.m. Sales will be limited to 200 tickets this year.

“We’re hoping to sell out,” she said.

“We’re happy to be back at the Forum again this year. They did an excellent job for us last year,” she said.

Organizers will also be selling raffle tickets at the door for prizes to be drawn over the course of the night. 

To get on the mailing list for the Haynes house of Hopes, sign up as a vendor for the music festival or to sign up to play call 642-0538. To volunteer to work relating to the Haynes House construction, call Peter O’Brien at 642-1010.

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