Hammer House Joins Home Parade

October 12, 2004
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ROCKFORD — The Hammer for Hope house is done and is part of the Fall Parade of Homes sponsored by the Home and Building Association of Greater Grand Rapids.

The Hammer House, as it’s called, is located in Squire Street Estates, a new subdivision just east of Rockford, at

8522 Camelot Drive
. The 2,300-square-foot home on a two-acre site has four bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, a fireplace, a whirlpool in the master bedroom, a main level sunroom, and a lower level walkout. It is Home No. 81 in the parade.

But more important is that the Hammer House is a fundraising effort co-sponsored by Rockford Construction of Belmont and Roersma & Wurn Builders of Comstock Park.

All proceeds from the sale of the house will be divided among the Inner City Christian Federation, Grand RapidsYouthCommonwealth and the NorthKentServiceCenter

More than 200 local businesses, organizations and individuals donated supplies, labor and money to make the Hammer for Hope effort a reality.

“This project would not be possible without the tremendous support of so many people in this community,” said Michael VanGessel, president of Rockford Construction.

“Since we announced this project last November, we have raised thousands of dollars in cash, labor and materials.”

Over $265,000 was raised. Rockford donated the lot, valued at $75,000.

VanGessel and Rockford CEO John Wheeler had hoped to have the Hammer House finished in time for the Spring Parade of Homes held last May. But clearance to prepare the site took longer than expected. Cold weather in February made digging the foundation extra difficult. Then the sagging economy played a role.

“It’s been a tough year on these (framers) finding jobs because of the economy, which made it tougher for them to find the time to donate their work in large blocks. Our big problem was getting the framing done and those are the very small guys who can’t give up two or there weeks to come in and do it on their own,” said Bill Meconis, who managed the project for Rockford Construction.

Todd Ernst of Keller Williams Realty has agreed to market the house for free. Rockford and Roersma feel it should sell for $350,000.

Hammer for Hope is the third house-building project that Rockford Construction has sponsored in the past three years. The first effort, Hammer Out Hunger, raised $239,000 for God’s Kitchen. Then, Hammer For Housing raised $350,000 for the Inner City Christian Federation.

Tax-deductible cash donations can still be made to Hammer for Hope. Call Jason Wheeler of Rockford at 866-5217 for details.

The Fall Parade runs through Saturday every day this week, except Thursday. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children and can be purchased at any home in the parade. One ticket is good to visit all homes.

In addition to the Hammer House, Roersma & Wurn Builders has two other entries in the parade. One is at 2273 Beatrice NE in Grand Rapids. The other is at 6222 Boulder RidgeNE in Rockford    

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