On March 12, 2006, GHS student Shanna Schumacker’s parents and best friend tragically lost their lives in a multi-car accident in the Texas panhandle.
Schumacker, who is set to graduate this year, was the sole survivor of the crash.
At the time of the accident, the family’s new home in the Apache Springs development north of Grove was under construction.
Subsequently, the Grove Homebuilders’ Association stepped in to help complete the project so the home could be sold to fund Schumacker’s education.
“Everybody got busy and they took the project as far as they could take it,” explained retired carpenter Gary Adair, who has volunteered to spearhead the completion of the home.
“What I’m charged with doing now is to get the house finished,” he said.
Currently, Adair is seeking volunteer help from skilled finish carpenters to put the final touches on the home to make it attractive and livable.
“I have the ability to purchase the major portion of the materials,” Adair said. “There are a lot of retired people who have skills in this area, and I am hoping some of them will step in to help trim out and finish the house. It’s like our own local version of Extreme Makeover.”
He said he hopes to complete the work before the summer is over, as Schumacker will be starting classes at OU in the fall.
“This (house) is her college fund, so the more monies we can save, the better,” Adair noted.
Work still needing to be done on the home includes insulation, drywall, paint, trim, septic system installation, external plumbing and cabinet installation.
“We need people with experience in carpentry time work, painting staining,” Adair said.
He said Schumacker and her remaining family members have shown great courage and strength in the face of tragedy.
“Her sister and her sister’s husband took her in like she was their own child and nursed her through several surgeries after the accident,” Adair said. “And Shanna has taken a negative and made something positive out of it. Her grades have excelled. She is an A student now and she has been Rotary Student of the Month this year.”
Adair noted that many individuals and businesses have already donated their time and money to the project. Among them are Holly Tree Landscaping, Tim’s Electric, B & B Heating and Air, Shoreline Construction, The Homebuilders’ Association, Sanco Lumber, Bruce Hensley, First National Bank, and Lowe’s.
“Everybody stepped up to the plate to take care of things,” he said, adding that he was really appreciative of the help that has been received so far.
“It’s for a good cause,” he concluded. “It’s past its prime to get it finished.”