NeighborWorks Great Falls annual fund drive kicked off yesterday with nearly 100 volunteers who committed to visiting over 400 businesses throughout Great Falls over the next two weeks. Organizations around town created teams of colleagues who will work together to raise money and spread awareness with designated businesses on behalf of NeighborWorks Great Falls. Fund drive teams were created by the following organizations:
We set a fund drive goal of $157,000, and many volunteers are optimistic that they will help us surpass the goal this year. Executive Director, Sherrie Arey, along with Board President, Jack Prothero, made early visits to various businesses around Great Falls to help kickstart the fund drive this year. Most of the organizations listed above have made their own personal donation to NeighborWorks this year, and they are excited to give other organizations the opportunity to do the same. Additionally, NeighborWorks staff and board will volunteer time to fundraise for the drive.
Frank Burroughs, a former client from 2017, spoke at the kickoff about his journey into homeownership when he purchased a home very close to many at NeighborWorks. Sherrie Arey, NeighborWorks Great Falls Executive Director, was fortunate enough to tell the story of the previous homeowner, Kenny Pahrman.
Nancy was known for presenting a loan to the loan committee at Christmas time that was very hard for the loan committee to get their heads around!
Kenny Pahrman and his sister Sharon lived in a little house on the back of the lot at 701 7th Avenue South. They made their living delivering Tribunes on their bikes in the wee hours of the morning to bars and diners in downtown Great Falls. Never complaining that they were both legally blind and living in a run-down home with space heaters and mattresses on the floor.
When Nancy saw the conditions they were living in, she was determined to right this wrong! So, she hired a contractor, Jim Super, to give her a bid to build a new home on the front of the lot and tear down the old home. The first obstacle was getting the loan committee to approve an affordable loan for the Pahrmans. Using the lot as a down payment, the loan was approved at 2% for 99 years!! Nancy’s fear now was to get the house built before it burned down with Kenny and Sharon inside. It was completed and Kenny and Sharon enjoyed living in their new home for many years without missing one payment.
When Kenny died, Sharon was already gone, in a true pay it forward fashion, he donated his house to NeighborWorks Great Falls. His only ask was that we try to sell it to a disabled person just like we had done for Sharon and him.
Frank, who is wheelchair-bound and struggling with MS, ended up buying the home back in 2017 and he could not be more grateful. NeighborWorks continues the annual fund drive for people like Frank, and we are grateful to all the volunteers and donors who continue to support NeighborWorks year after year as we continue to build stronger neighborhoods and successful homeowners.
If you are interested in supporting NeighborWorks Great Falls, donate online at nwgf.org/give.