MAKEOVER: Violet Butterfield cuts the ribbon to her newly renovated home in Pinedale, Eight Mile Rock on Monday. Grand Bahama Port Authority Volunteers selected Ms Butterfield for a complete home makeover. Volunteers spent four weeks on the renovation project. Also seen in photo next to Ms Butterfield is her pastor, Rev Dennis Missick of Bethel Baptist Church, and Volunteers.
By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
FREEPORT - After sustaining major hurricane damage six years ago, Violet Butterfield's home in Eight Mile Rock received a complete makeover just in time for Christmas.
The Grand Bahama Port Authority Volunteers, a newly formed service club comprising more than 100 company employees, spent four weeks renovating Ms Butterfield's house in Pinedale.
Kendra Clarke, president of GBPA Volunteers, said the new club was the brainchild of Port Authority president Ian Rolle.
"We started the club in September and from time to time we would do something for the community," she said.
For their latest project, Ms Clarke said they decided on a home makeover and contacted Social Services for possible candidates in the Eight Mile Rock area.
"We were given a list of names in the community and saw five potential homes, but we chose Ms Butterfield because of her story," she said.
Ms Butterfield is a 67-year-old unmarried woman with no children. In 2004 her home was extensively damaged by a hurricane and she had been struggling to rebuild it on her own, with a little assistance from Social Services and donations from her church.
A small number of persons attended an official unveiling of her renovated house on Monday, including Port Authority President Ian Rolle who brought brief remarks.
Mr Rolle said he was very pleased with what was accomplished in just four weeks and commended the Volunteers on their work.
Ms Butterfield said she is very grateful to the Volunteers for their hard work.
In addition to a complete renovation, Ms Butterfield also received new appliances and some furniture, including a gas stove, fridge, water heater and a new king-sized bed, as well as groceries.
Dudley Francis, project manager, said they did all the painting for the interior and exterior, installed new tiles, completed plumbing and electrical work, and completed the bathroom.
"Overall, we pretty much did all finish work," he said. "We also included adding in gas, which was not in place, and we put in a water heater so she would not have to worry about any issues with hot water."
"I must say it has been a tremendous effort on the part of everyone who came out and participated. All the volunteers went over and beyond what was expected," Mr Francis said.
Ms Clarke said that 130 volunteers worked on the house on Fridays, Saturdays, and even sometimes on Sundays to meet their deadline.
"We are very happy that we were able to complete the work for Ms Butterfield and have it finished by Christmas," she said.
"This was done out of love. It is first time that we have done something like this and we may consider doing it next year."
Mr Francis said working on the project also allowed employees to fellowship and form friendships with one another.
Ms Clarke thanked other contributors to the project, including Campbell's Trucking for donating the sand, Jared for digging a ground well at a discount price, and other residents in the area who helped.